Baltimore County Attorney H. Emslie "Lee" Parks, 62, resigned yesterday after 2 1/2 years in office.
County Executive Roger B. Hayden immediately named Deputy County Attorney Stanley J. Schapiro, 69, to take over the Office of Law, which has had a difficult reorganization since layoffs and resignations in February and March took seven of its 25 lawyers. The County Council will be asked to confirm Mr. Schapiro's appointment at its next meeting in September.
No reason was given for Mr. Parks' resignation, but Mr. Hayden said the well-known Towson attorney and former county school board chairman "only promised me two years" when he took the job in March 1991.
Mr. Parks left his office early and was not available for comment yesterday.
Mr. Schapiro has been appearing in Mr. Parks' place at County Council work sessions and meetings recently and said he's happy to finally become county attorney after 19 years in the office, the last 10 as deputy.
"I enjoy the give and take of the office. It keeps me young," he said.
Mr. Parks is still a partner in the Towson firm of Parks, Hansen, Ditch and Zaharris, and is expected to resume his practice there.
Mr. Hayden said Mr. Parks mentioned his desire to resign "a while ago," but only told him the decision was final and immediate yesterday. The executive said he will meet with Mr. Schapiro today to determine if a new deputy county attorney will be hired.
The law office was reduced in size as part of Mr. Hayden's larger plans for cutting the number of county jobs. The idea was to make the remaining lawyers full-time, at slightly higher salaries, and eliminate the part-time private practices many of the attorneys maintained.
Several lawyers who resigned or were laid off criticized the move, claiming people with specialties not easily replaced and a few who had no private practices were let go. This increased the workload and caused confusion among those who remained, they said.