As unionized state employees brace for possible layoffs, the Schaefer administration dismissed six more of their bosses yesterday -- this time, at the Department of Juvenile Services.
Department officials confirmed yesterday that Secretary Linda D'Amario Rossi had accepted the forced resignations of six members of the staff, but they declined to name them.
Sources said those dismissed were six midlevel managers who worked at the agency's headquarters, the Charles H. Hickey School and other facilities for juvenile delinquents. But Ms. Rossi was not available for comment, and the agency would not name the individuals.
None of Ms. Rossi's top aides, who include a deputy secretary and five assistant secretaries, was among those fired.
Ms. Rossi was out of town yesterday as the dismissal notices were delivered to the six, and aides said she could not be reached for comment. Her deputy secretary, Al Murphy, said the personnel moves were aimed at letting the department "start fresh" as Gov. William Donald Schaefer begins his second term.
"We're doing the same thing most of the other departments are," Mr. Murphy said. "We're trying to put closure to the first four years and go on and start fresh."
The dismissals stem from a marathon Cabinet meeting last month in which the governor asked all of his secretaries to submit letters of resignation for his consideration. He also instructed them to ask for similar letters from their own staffs. Mr. Schaefer has since announced that the transportation, general services and environment departments will have new secretaries.
Last week, Human Resources Secretary Carolyn W. Colvin confirmed that she had dismissed five members of her staff, including her two top deputies.
Mr. Schaefer's press secretary, Paul E. Schurick, refused to say yesterday whether there would be similar changes at other state agencies, saying such decisions are being made by the secretaries who head them. But he added, "The governor considers himself a brand new governor in the early stages of a brand new administration. Seeing anyone go should not surprise people when administrations change."
Asked if he expected any adverse public reaction to the decision to send dismissal notices less than two weeks before Christmas, Mr. Schurick said, "Ask the public."
Mr. Murphy said the six Juvenile Services employees would work until Jan. 4. He said Ms. Rossi has not decided to whether to fill the positions or leave them vacant.