New county attorney asks all assistants to resign Schapiro calls move 'management tool'

August 07, 1993|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

All of Baltimore County's assistant county attorneys were asked to sign letters of resignation yesterday, the second full day of Stanley J. Schapiro's tenure in the top job.

H. Emslie "Lee" Parks resigned as county attorney on Wednesday, after two years and five months in office.

Mr. Schapiro said he is using the letters "as a management tool," and a way of getting a grip on pervasive talk in Towson that some of the 16 remaining assistant county attorneys still have private practices, despite a new county policy forbidding that.

"I have to get a handle on what's going on," he said.

Mr. Schapiro said that he doesn't know how long it will take him to evaluate the situation and decide whether to accept any of the resignations. In question are situations like that of assistant county attorney Philip H. Lohrey Jr., who is also listed as an attorney with the private Towson firm of Parks, Hansen, Ditch and Zaharris.

Mr. Parks is a partner in that firm.

Mr. Lohrey, who has worked for the county for two years, said he

"maintains some affiliation" with his former boss' firm, but said, "I am not an employer or employee" and denied handling any private cases.

"They will take messages for me," he said. "Categorically, I have not practiced law [privately] since the ban was put into effect." The ban started April 1.

Mr. Schapiro said Mr. Lohrey has office space there. The county attorney must now decide if the policy against side practices has been violated.

County Executive Roger B. Hayden said his new county attorney "wanted to evaluate personnel," so he asked everybody to resign "so he could go through and make judgments. It's his decision."

Mr. Hayden said he told Mr. Schapiro about the rampant talk that the policy was being violated, and asked him to look into it. "Stanley's the boss," he said.

The office lost seven attorneys in March as part of Mr. Hayden's budget-cutting layoffs.

He said he will allow Mr. Schapiro to hire a new deputy to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Schapiro's promotion.

Mr. Schapiro said he doesn't know when he will fill that position.

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