Tolliver approved by Senate panel STATE HOUSE REPORT

January 26, 1993|By Marina Sarris | Marina Sarris,Staff Writer

A Senate committee easily approved the appointment of Col. Larry W. Tolliver as state police superintendent last night, after hearing one complaint about police harassment alleged to have occurred while the colonel served as the governor's chief bodyguard.

Jarrell F. Nowlin, a computer programmer who serves on an Anne Arundel County police and community relations board, criticized tactics that troopers assigned to guard Gov. William Donald Schaefer used against citizens who criticized the governor.

Mr. Nowlin cited incidents in which the Schaefer administration photographed demonstrators; a trooper drove Mr. Schaefer to the home of a critic; and police tracked down the name and address of a woman who had given the governor a "thumbs down" sign, enabling the governor to write a hostile letter to the woman.

Mr. Tolliver served as captain of the 29-trooper executive protection division until last year, when the governor appointed him to the top police job on a temporary basis.

"I'm here today because nobody is above the law," said Mr. Nowlin, of Crownsville. But the senators on the Executive Nominations Committee seemed unimpressed.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. immediately defended Mr. Tolliver, noting that "you can't prevent the governor from doing things." The Prince George's County Democrat praised the colonel for improving police morale during his tenure as temporary superintendent.

Mr. Tolliver is well known by many legislators and, according to at least one, "very popular" with them.

"I don't think his confirmation was ever in doubt," said Sen. Michael J. Wagner, the Anne Arundel County Democrat who chairs the committee.

Sen. Howard A. Denis, a Montgomery County Republican, urged Mr. Tolliver "to see that things like that don't happen in the future."

The nomination now goes to the full Senate for a vote.

The committee also approved the appointment to the Maryland Public Service Commission of Susanne Brogan, the former legislative assistant to House Speaker R. Clayton Mitchell Jr.

Speaker Mitchell, a Kent County Democrat, last night praised Ms. Brogan as "my right hand, my left hand and very loyal to me for 12 years."

The committee members did not ask her any questions, prompting Senator Wagner to joke, "That's the way we treat insiders here."

Actually, the senators asked very few questions of the 50 people whose nominations they approved last night.

Ms. Brogan, an Annapolis resident, is a graduate of Washington College and the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore.

Her new job pays $69,521 -- about $6,800 more than her former salary.

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