County Council members and some county business executives say the county's chances to attract new industry won't be marred by revelations that the county executive did not closely check the resume of her nominee for the post of economic development director.
County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann notified the council Tuesday that her nomineefor the job, Patricia A. Perluke of Bel Air, had requested her name be withdrawn from consideration for the $51,000-a-year job.
The Harford County Sun reported last Sunday that there was at least one discrepancy on Perluke's resume. This week it was determined there were more discrepancies on the resume and a resume summary sheet.
Rehrmann has asked a three-member committee to search for a new candidate.
The committee members are Warren Hartenstine, chairman of the county's Economic Development Advisory Board, and president ofKannegeisser USA, a Forest Hill company that distributes equipment used in clothing manufacturing; Diane Ford, president of the Harford County Chamber of Commerce; and Larry Klimovitz, director of administration.
"Obviously it's a burp," said Hartenstine, of revelations that Perluke's background was not closely checked by Rehrmann. "If thesearch committee for a new nominee does a good job, it won't do any permanent damage."
"Will it show a certain amount of instability? That's the question," said Councilwoman Joanne S. Parrott, R-DistrictB, giving voice to concerns of some county leaders. "This is a crucial time for the county in regards to the economic development with the depressed economy."
Among discrepancies in Perluke's resume was a listing of simultaneous employment as a partner in The Business Consulting Group Inc. and the state Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) from 1987 to 1989. In addition, Perluke said on a resume summary sheet that she served in a "senior management role" at DEED.
A personnel records clerk at DEED said DEED records show Perluke worked as a "contractual employee" from January 1988 until Aug. 26, 1988 -- about eight months.
Patrick Rossello, president of the Baltimore-based The Business Consulting Group Inc., said last week that Perluke was not a partner in his company from 1987 to 1989.
Perluke explained the discrepancy in the dates of her employment with DEED by saying she had done volunteer work for the state agency before and after her contractual work.
Rehrmann said that until late last week she was unaware of problems with the Perluke appointment.
"When I look at a resume, I don't check the dates. What you're looking at is whether someone had responsibilities and whether they can handle those responsibilities well," said Rehrmann.
"The people I talked to who worked with Pat said she could do the job."
Councilman Barry T. Glassman, R-District D, said, "The only way it reflects onMrs. Rehrmann is that she may have been able to
check a little more closely," Glassman said. "But I don't think she knew."
Toward the end of Tuesday's council meeting, Parrott issued a statement about the close scrutiny the Perluke appointment received.
"The trend seems to be that certain women who seek appointments are treated with either total disregard or are scrutinized to a depth that male appointees are not," said Parrott. "These deficiencies in considering candidates for varying appointments smacks of pure discrimination and borderson the unethical."
When pressed later in the week to cite other examples of discrimination, Parrott declined to be specific, saying only that she had noticed the trend in appointments to committees.
Councilman Robert Wagner,R-District E, said such a discriminatory trend does not exist.
"It didn't hit me until a few days into it that it was being scrutinized more than the others," Wagner said.
"But I think it's because in the back of our minds we knew this was a veryimportant job. We all understand that we have got to get the tax base enlarged and get employment up."