Lego's PensionIt was refreshing to read Frank J. Weber's...


April 23, 1993

Lego's Pension

It was refreshing to read Frank J. Weber's March 29 letter concerning the pension package given to Paul Lego, retired chairman of the Westinghouse Electric Corp. Mr. Weber pointed out that many of the 4,000 terminated Westinghouse employees received little or no pension, with Mr. Lego receiving up to $18 million.

As a former long-time Westinghouse employee (31 years), I think it is incredible that after presiding over the squandering of Westinghouse finances in real estate speculation that resulted in thousands of employees losing their jobs, Mr. Lego was given a consultant contract at a salary of $900,000 a year.

That's akin to hiring the captain of the Titanic, if he had survived, as a consultant on traversing the iceberg-strewn waters of the North Atlantic.

Thomas J. Rostkowski


Marching Orders

I am writing this letter in response to your March 31 editorial, "When Justice is Too Political."

Richard Bennett, the most recent United States attorney for Maryland, is hardly a good example to use in your concern for the hurried replacements of U.S. attorneys.

The appointments of United States attorneys and United States public defenders are, of course, political in nature. Those appointments are made with the understanding that the appointees will reflect the philosophical view points of the political party seated in the White House.

The priorities of the U.S. attorney and federal public defender appointees and the zeal in which they prosecute or defend is predicated on their marching orders and has nothing to do with justice.

Mr. Bennett actively toured the state, addressing various

Republican organizations during the election (a little more than "petty politics").

The former federal public defender, Fred W. Bennett, was not reappointed for the post by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for what appeared to be his zeal in defending the indigent.

Instead, a former deputy district attorney and prosecutor from Denver, James K. Bredar, was named to replace him in the face of competent on-staff attorneys. The relocation expenses for this choice will cost the taxpayers up to $58,000.

Mr. Bredar, at his investiture, referred to his clients as "criminal suspects" (a prosecutor's term) instead of indigent defendants (the commonly accepted defender's term).

Mr. Bredar's treatment of his employees since his installation has been outside the realm of due process, equal protection and innocence until proven guilty. He is now charged with an in-house complaint alleging sexual and racial discrimination.

The attorney general should also be asking, through the proper procedures, for the resignation of all federal public defenders.

It is obvious that without community (non-legal) input in these selection and appointment processes, persons more moved by political necessities than a search for justice will prevail.

Joseph P. Kendall


Fair Trade

In your editorial, "Selling the Right to Pollute" (April 7), your conclusion that citizens are the losers in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) sulfur dioxide trading program is not supportable.

This innovative and cost-effective program was devised and strongly supported by environmentalists, Congress and the EPA, an effort to continue the cleanup process of the nation's polluted air.

All emissions trading takes place below a federal ceiling, which does not permit any facility to violate separate federal standards for ambient air.

Because of this program, power plant emissions will be reduced by 50 percent by the year 2000.

Citizens, as consumers, and the environment both benefit when environmental goals are established and implemented in the most cost-effective manner.

6* This program achieves both objectives.

John Quinn


The writer is Clean Air Act issues manager for Baltimore Gas &

Electric Co.

Maryland's Health Reform Comes Up Short

Baltimore physicians watched with great interest the development of "health reform" legislation during the 1993 legislative session.

Despite the enormous amount of work that went into H.B. 1359/S.B. 349, we do not feel that this legislation accomplishes the goal which we initially set out to achieve when we began working with the legislature in January.

The physicians of Baltimore feel that our citizens need universal, portable, accessible health insurance without restrictions for pre-existing conditions and available with community rating -- costing the same to all members without significant variations based on gender, age, medical condition.

We testified in favor of Sen. American Joe Miedusiewski's bill that would have provided such a true health reform. Instead, what have the citizens of Maryland received from their legislators?

First, despite the high cost of medical care, we will have a $5

million additional bill to pay for three commissions that will study the problems.

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