Ehrlich fires 7 at anti-crime state office

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has fired seven officials of the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, an embattled agency that became an issue in last year's gubernatorial election.

Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell said yesterday that Stephen P. Amos, executive director of the agency; Sonya T. Proctor, his deputy; and five other agency employees were fired Thursday. Fawell declined to identify the other five but said all seven were told to leave by the end of the day.

In an interview, Ehrlich said he acted after consulting with Edward T. Norris, superintendent of the Maryland State Police. "It needed to be done," the governor said.

The once-obscure agency, which doles out federal and state anti-crime grants, became a focus of attention last summer after subpoenas disclosed an investigation by the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore.

Because the crime control office was overseen by Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the investigation became an issue in her gubernatorial campaign.

Throughout the investigation, Amos has said that nothing improper occurred at the agency.

Amos said yesterday that he was not surprised to lose his job and that he was treated well by the Ehrlich administration.

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