Ex-state senator is applicant for drug program post


Former Democratic state Sen. H. Erle Schafer is one of two candidates being considered by Anne Arundel health officials for a contract position supervising a new county-run drug program.

The person appointed to the post, which pays $35,000 annually, will manage a $183,000 state grant awarded to Anne Arundel's Health Department this year through the county's Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. The Drug Intervention Project, as the program is known, has a one-year life.

Schafer, a former clerk of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court who supervised the county's first urban renewal program, applied for the administrative post along with 12 others.

After two weeks of interviews, the field has been narrowed to Schafer and one other contender, according to county Health Department spokeswoman Evelyn E. Stein. County health officials refused to disclose the name of the other finalist, citing confidentiality rules on personnel matters.

Stein said the program involves screening minor drug offenders for placement in counseling programs rather than in jail. She said health officials are looking for someone with legal and administrative experience.

A similar intervention program has been operating in Annapolis District Court. Stein said the grant gives the county money to begin the program in the Glen Burnie District Court.

Schafer, 58, retired from elective politics after serving on the Anne Arundel County Council and in the state Senate for a combined eight years. A Glen Burnie resident, he owns a U-Haul franchise and a termite extermination business. He has a law degree from the University of Baltimore.

"I thought this was an opportunity to give something back," Schafer said. "I just want to get this program off the ground."

Health Officer Frances B. Phillips is expected to announce her decision on the appointment early next week.

Pub Date: 12/13/96

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