H. Grant Hathaway, chairman of Maryland National Bank and vice chairman of MNC Financial Inc., was named to chair Baltimore County's troubled Economic Development Commission yesterday by County Executive Roger B. Hayden.
Mr. Hathaway, 64, a resident of Ruxton, said his first task will be hTC to end the months of turmoil involving the commission and to help Mr. Hayden choose a new commission director. The former director, Kenneth C. Nohe, resigned Monday after only seven months in the post. Mr. Hathaway himself is replacing A. Samuel Cook, a lawyer who resigned as commission chairman April 29.
The 24-member commission now has 12 vacancies. Mr. Hayden saidhe plans to fill them quickly and to choose a new director within the next several months.
Mr. Hathaway said he has helped Mr. Hayden organize several of his political fund-raisers, and has "been meeting with him" to discuss various government problems. He said that his becoming commission chairman "just evolved" over the past few weeks during discussions with Mr. Hayden about who should be appointed to the volunteer post.
For commission director, Mr. Hathaway said, he would favor someone "versed in development" or who has "had a successful business history." He praised acting commission director Adam Wasserman, whom he called "very capable."
Mr. Hathaway was introduced to 10 commission members yesterday morning. The members had gathered to talk with Mr. Hayden about a new economic development strategy plan now under consideration.
Mr. Nohe, the former commission director, resigned Monday after months of controversy.
Mr. Nohe, owner of the White Marsh Dinner Theatre, had been roundly criticized for spending $1,700 on expensive restaurant meals in January. He generated further debate by summarily firing three high-ranking commission staffers in March: deputy director Anthony J. Haley, former Hayden campaign director Patrick McDonough and office manager Patricia Krug.
The firings upset Mr. Cook and he eventually resigned as commission chairman amid charges that Mr. Nohe had excluded him and other members from commission work.