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Ehrlich attacks DLLR handling of jobs report

Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. and the general assembly's two top GOP leaders this morning sought to put more pressure on the O’Malley administration by releasing a stack of emails they believe shows a coordinated effort to hide a negative jobs report.

“I want to tell you I’m angry,” said Senate Minority Leader Allan Kittleman. “Live on your record. Be held accountable on your record.” Kittleman and House Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell are mulling a launching some type of formal inquiry -- the promised more details this afternoon.

The electronic messages show top staff at the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation attempting to do damage control after a downbeat jobs report was briefly posted on their website.

The erroneously posted report, titled “Maryland’s Market Stalls During July,” stayed online for several hours in August – long enough for a GOP party staffer to notice that it was markedly different in tone than the upbeat words Gov. Martin O’Malley was using to describe the state’s condition.

Writing to his communications director at 3:01 p.m. Aug. 20, DLLR Secretary Alex Sanchez asked: “Is it down? Call me as soon as we know who posted outrageous info on the site.”

Six minutes later Communications Director Bernie Kohn, a former editor at The Sun, replied: “It is down.”

Kohn later that afternoon emailed several other staffers: “Are we sure that removing that post removed all traces of it that anyone could pull up on a search engine? Whatever we can do to make it disappear, we need to do it. That’s coming straight from the top.”

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