Bobo takes job with Human Resources, will run foster care, child-abuse probes

December 15, 1990|By Michael J. Clark Eileen Canzian of The Sun's metropolitan staff contributed to this report.

Elizabeth Bobo, who was upset last month in her bid for a second term as Howard County executive, has found a job as deputy secretary with the state Department of Human Resources.

Ms. Bobo, who developed a close political friendship with Gov. William Donald Schaefer during her tenure as county executive, will become deputy secretary for programs Jan. 2.

The department, with a budget of nearly $1.2 billion and 7,400 employees, oversees social services, child-support enforcement, income maintenance and community services for the state's needy.

With her new job, Ms. Bobo becomes the third former county executive from the Baltimore metropolitan area this year to find a position in state government.

Habern W. Freeman Jr., prohibited from running for a third term as Harford County executive, was elected state senator last month. And Governor Schaefer has named O. James Lighthizer, who could not seek a third term as Anne Arundel County executive, secretary of transportation.

Former Baltimore County executive Dennis F. Rasmussen, defeated last month in his bid for a second term, has not found work in the Schaefer administration -- though sources said he has indicated he would be available.

Sources near the governor this week said they were not aware of any plans to offer a job to Mr. Rasmussen, who could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In her new job, Ms. Bobo, who has a law degree but no training in social work, will be responsible for running foster-care programs and child-abuse investigations.

The job, which became vacant last week when Secretary Carolyn W. Colvin dismissed several assistants, carries a salary of more than $70,000.

Ms. Colvin said that although Ms. Bobo does not have a background as a social worker, she has experience with programs meant to help the disadvantaged.

"She has been the county executive. Certainly they're responsible for social programs and human programs," she said.

"I'm looking for a very strong and capable manager. I'm not necessarily looking for a clinician or a social worker," Ms. Colvin said. "What I'm really seeking is a strong and capable administrator and manager who can be innovative and creative andcan give a fresh look to what we do in the department."

Ms. Bobo, 45, reportedly had been offered several jobs in state government, including two posts with the state Department of Housing and Community Development. She was also considered for a deputy position with the state Department of Environment, sources said.

The former county executive, a Democrat who was the first woman elected to an executive position in Maryland, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

However, a source close to Ms. Bobo said the former executive,

while weighing job offers, had spoken of "taking on another type of challenge, believing that her contributions to environmental protection in Howard County were her major achievements."

Friends of Ms. Bobo, a Columbia resident, said she also was worried about how a recession would affect low-income people and had said she "wanted to make her contribution felt as a manager in human services at this critical time."

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