MANCHESTER — The Baltimore City police officer who last month complained about the Town Council's hiring of a new police chief says he doesn't want the job.
After nearly three weeks of complaints -- including an impassioned appearance in front of the council Wednesday night -- Hampstead resident Herbert N. Hewlett II insists that he has no interest in the $23,500-a-year job now held by Donald M. Myers.
But he's not about to stop protesting what he calls the town's unfair hiring procedures.
"I do not want the job," the 43-year-old Hampshire Road resident said last week in an interview. "I want my questions answered. They think they're going to do whatever they want. Idon't think that's fair to me or the citizens of Manchester."
Town officials say no one besides Hewlett has complained about the hiring of Myers, a former Taneytown police chief and private-sector security executive who replaced former Chief Earl Isennock in January.
The council has referred the matter to Town Attorney Charles O. FisherJr. Several days before last week's meeting, Mayor Earl A. J. "Tim" Warehime Jr. said he hoped the matter would quiet down. He said he and the council stand by the hiring of Myers, who is not a state-certified police officer.
While all the state's 13,000 or so police officers must be certified, police chiefs are exempt from the requirement.
In a letter presented to Warehime Feb. 12, Hewlett asked why he was never granted an interview, why he did not receive acknowledgmentof his application, and why none of his references had been contacted.
He said in the letter that he was "outraged" by the town's procedure for picking a chief and called Myers' level of experience "minimum at best."
"How can they compare him to me?" Hewlett asked lastweek. "You have my resume. You can't tell me that I'm not highly qualified."
Hewlett was one of 12 who submitted the nine-page application. Isennock reviewed those applications, interviewed some of the candidates, and presented a list of four to the council for further interviews.
Of the four finalists, Myers was the only one who was not a certified police officer. Hewlett was not among the four finalists;neither was he interviewed or contacted about his application.
"They didn't even let me know they got my application," he said.
In response to Hewlett's complaints, Fisher wrote a letter to him Feb. 18 --it was mailed Wednesday -- in which he said the town was free to employ any selection process when hiring a department head.
"In specific answer to the questions raised in your letter, you were not grantedan interview because the Council directed others within the Town Administration to select a list of persons to be interviewed by the Council," he wrote in the letter. "You were not on the list."
Fisher could not be reached for comment on why the letter was not mailed to Hewlett until the day of the council meeting at which the issue was to be discussed.
When told Wednesday night that all future contact with the town on the matter would be through Fisher's office, Hewlett vowed to take his complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Baltimore. He also said that he would continue to deal directlywith the council and with the mayor.
"This is supposed to intimidate me," he said. "A letter from an attorney may intimidate some people, but I am not intimidated."