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Hogan names Hutchins as homeland security director

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan picked as homeland security director a former Maryland State Police superintendent who oversaw a controversial and prolonged surveillance of death penalty and antiwar activists.

The Republican announced Tuesday that Thomas E. "Tim" Hutchins would join his administration. "I know he's going to be working tirelessly each and every day to keep Maryland safe," Hogan said.

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Hutchins led the state police during 14 months in 2005 and 2006 when the agency infiltrated and tracked a number of protest groups, an episode that led to legislative hearings and apologies from Hutchins' successor.

Hutchins, also a former state delegate, a military veteran and a defense contractor, defended the surveillance program when it came to light in 2008 through the release of public documents sought in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Hutchins told a panel of lawmakers it was necessary for police to gather information in case of potentially "volatile" demonstrations planned around the executions of death row inmates.

Hutchins and then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, argued that the surveillance was legal and necessary.

Hogan also announced Tuesday that a member of his real estate firm, The Hogan Cos., would leave the private sector to work for him.

Hogan named Steve McAdams as director of the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives. McAdams formerly was appointed by both O'Malley and Ehrlich to the state's Commission of Real Estate Appraisals and Home Inspectors.

Hogan spokeswoman Erin Montgomery said it will be up to the Ethics Commission to determine whether McAdams must give up his real estate appraisal business while working for Hogan, who will be inaugurated Jan. 21.

Hogan tapped the legislature for other staff posts. He plucked Senate Minority Whip Chris Shank from the General Assembly to lead his office of Crime Control and Prevention. Shank, a Western Maryland Republican, is the third recently re-elected member of the legislature to be selected to join Hogan's administration.

The appointments have led to questions about whether there is enough transparency in the process to fill such vacancies. The Carroll County Republican Central Committee came under criticism this week for selecting behind closed doors someone to fill state Sen. Joseph Getty's seat. Getty announced late last year he would leave his post to become Hogan's chief lobbyist.

"We've been very cautious about not bringing too many people out of the legislature," Hogan said.

He said he encouraged central committees making appointments to operate with more transparency. Hogan also said he exercised restraint in choosing administrative staff from the ranks of the Assembly.

He contrasted it with the approach taken when he was appointments secretary under Ehrlich.

"In the Ehrlich administration, I believe there were 12 or 14 members of the legislature that were appointed to things and created a mass vacancy. We've been cautious. We've pulled out what we think are some of the smartest, most talented folks that we thought could do a better job serving the people in the executive branch, even though they did a wonderful job in the legislature."

Hogan also announced that former Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, who gave up her seat for a failed run for lieutenant governor, would join his staff as director of intergovernmental affairs. Haddaway-Riccio, who represented the mid-Eastern Shore, was the running mate to gubernatorial hopeful David R. Craig, the former Harford County executive who was named to Hogan's Cabinet last week.

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Other new staffers announced Tuesday included Pete Rahn as transportation secretary, Robert F. Scholz as general counsel, former Del. Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. as a special adviser and Arlene F. Lee to lead the governor's office for children.

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