Gov. William Donald Schaefer announced today a nationwide search to find a new superintendent of the Maryland State Police, but formally appointed the chief of his bodyguards to the post temporarily.
The governor also said that Capt. Larry W. Tolliver, the temporary superintendent, has the job "to lose" while the search -- which is expected to take up to six months -- is conducted.
Mr. Schaefer, at a press conference in Baltimore today, said, "The only way he [Captain Tolliver] could lose it is to not play ball."
Hubert Williams, president of the Washington-based Police Foundation, said his group would head the search for a permanent superintendent. Candidates would then be reviewed by the governor.
Captain Tolliver, 46, has been head of the executive protection division since January 1987 and a state police officer 25 years. He will become acting superintendent following the departure of Col. Elmer H. Tippett Jr. on May 21. Colonel Tippett announced his resignation under pressure earlier this year.
"As good as we are, I believe we can become even better," Captain Tolliver said. "I intend to make a thorough assessment of the agency."
Colonel Tippett resigned from the $77,336-a-year job March 24 after growing discontent within the Schaefer administration over his performance and declining morale among troopers.
Mr. Schaefer had said he wanted a "younger person to move up" to replace Colonel Tippett, but he indicated that he also wanted to promote someone from within the force.
Colonel Tippett was appointed by Mr. Schaefer in 1987. Schaefer administration officials also were displeased with a confidential report to the governor from Colonel Tippett concerning the State Police handling of the Dontay Carter case.
Carter, an 18-year-old parolee from East Baltimore, is jailed, awaiting trial on charges of abduction, armed robbery and the murder of Vitalis Pilius, 37, of Catonsville, on Feb. 11. He also is accused of abducting and robbing two other victims, both of whom were forced into the trunks of their cars.
Carter, whom police said used a fake driver's license obtained from the Motor Vehicle Administration with his picture and Mr. Pilius' identification, twice slipped through the hands of the state police.