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Environment

Hogan's pick for natural resources secretary bows out

Gov. Larry Hogan has lost a member of his cabinet, even before he could be nominated.

Charles C. G. Evans Jr., whom Hogan had tapped to be secretary of natural resources, said Friday he has bowed out because he feared the rigors of managing the 1,300-employee department would take a toll on his health.

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"With age comes some better judgment,," Evans, 75, said by telephone from his Cambridge home. "And in my case, the better judgment is pacing myself better."

Evans, a long-time developer who served as assistant natural resources secretary under former Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., said he's been working hard the past year for Hogan's election. In recent weeks, he said, he's been putting in long hours serving on Hogan's transition team, commuting to and from Annapolis every day.

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He said he's had episodes of high blood pressure and some other minor health issues, though nothing debilitating.

"But I just sat back and thought, 'Holy Toledo! This is more than a full-time task,'" Evans said, so after consulting with his family decided to withdraw.  He said he informed Hogan about a week ago.

Evans called his decision "very bittersweet," noting his prior experience at DNR. While there before, he helped the Ehrlich administration institute the "flush fee" that is paying for upgrading dozens of sewage treatment plants across the state.

"I'm very dedicated to advancing the Chesapeake Bay and coastal bays' health," he said. Though reluctant to serve full-time, Evans said he asked Hogan if he could still help out as a senior adviser on natural resources issues.

Hogan press secretary Erin Montgomery said the governor "looks forward to working with him."  She had no immediate information on plans to nominate someone else to run the department.


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