Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker today said he has rescinded the appointment of developer John C. Mardall as county administrator to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Ecker said he decided to withdraw the appointment because Mardall currently has developer contracts with the county that could cause a conflict, "perception-wise."
"I thought it was just best," Ecker said. "I'm disappointed because I thought he would have done a good job, but we want to be squeaky clean."
Developer contracts are agreements between certain developers and the county that lower the developer's costs for securing performance bonds and letters of credit.
Ecker announced two weeks ago that Mardall eventually would replace Buddy Roogow as county administrator after learning the job while serving as Roogow's deputy over a three-month period.
Mardall was scheduled to start his new job last Monday, but was ill last week and did not report to work at the $75,000-a-year post.
Mardall, 45, is president of BBI & Associates, an Ellicott City homebuilder. He could not be reached today for comment.
His appointment brought immediate criticism from a prominent board member of the Howard County Citizens Association, the jurisdiction's largest civic group, and local Democrats. They said the move showed that Ecker's government was leaning too heavily toward businesses and developers.