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Head of Baltimore Co. economic development panel resigns,gives no reason


Continuing turmoil in Baltimore County's Economic Development Commission has led to the resignation of A. Samuel Cook, the commission chairman.

Mr. Cook, a lawyer at Venable Baetjer & Howard in Towson, submitted a one-paragraph letter to County Executive Roger B. Hayden Wednesday in which he merely announced his decision without giving any reason for it.

Mr. Cook refused to elaborate yes terday, saying only that the amount of work in his law practice has forced his action.

The chairman nearly resigned in early March, after three key commission staffers were suddenly fired by director Kenneth C. Nohe, who was appointed to the job in November 1991 by Mr. Hayden.

One of those fired, former deputy director Anthony J. Haley, had been passed over for the director's job when Mr. Nohe was hired.

Towson Councilman Douglas B. Riley, a 4th District Republican, said he is unhappy Mr. Cook resigned.

Mr. Cook's resignation will strengthen the belief in business circles that county government is "not friendly," Mr. Riley said.

A source high in the Hayden administration claimed that Mr. Cook stopped participating in commission work in recent weeks, and would not cooperate with Mr. Nohe's efforts to recruit his aid.

Mr. Hayden issued a statement yesterday through his spokeswoman, Carol Hirschburg, saying, "We are sorry . . ." that Mr. Cook has resigned and "are deeply appreciative of his services."

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