Sen. Murphy again takes 2nd job to make ends meet

January 15, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

Catonsville State Sen. Nancy L. Murphy is hoping to get a full-time job as Baltimore county executive next year, but in the meantime she's taken an unadvertised, part-time position with the state health department.

The $15.95-an-hour contractual job is the latest in a string of public, part-time jobs the former real estate agent has had in addition to her $28,000 post as an elected state official.

Senator Murphy, 64, a legislator since 1983, is one of four potential democratic candidates for county executive. The others are District Court Judge John C. Coolahan and County Council members Charles A. Dutch Ruppersberger of the 3rd District and Melvin G. Mintz of the 2nd District. Although none has publicly announced candidacy, several already are campaigning. Senator Murphy is expected to make her decision public next week.

Her new job in the state health department is her second public position since September, when she was a truant officer for Baltimore County schools. She left that job Nov. 12, and took the new position Nov. 15. It pays a maximum of $33,275 annually, but includes no benefits.

Senator Murphy was hired to encourage businesses and local community groups to contribute more money, resources and volunteers to Maryland's state hospitals.

"It meshes well with what I've been doing all along," said the senator, who worked in a similar capacity with the county's Community Development Department.

According to county records, she made $27,504 working for the county from July 1988 to October 1991.

During her time with the county, Senator Murphy helped the Maryland Tomorrow program keep county students from dropping out, and helped Project Independence get welfare recipients back to work.

"I worked with people to get tickets to games, volunteers, goodies for the kids," said Senator Murphy, who also collected clothing for welfare recipients who needed outfits for work.

Robert W. Eastridge, a deputy secretary of the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said he hired Senator Murphy and said she was one of three people who heard about the job and applied. He said the position was not advertised to the public.

"We've had a problem getting corporate sponsors to adopt an institution," he said. "We've been batting around the idea for some time."

Senator Murphy's status as a member of the legislature will help, Mr. Eastridge said, because business and community leaders are more likely to listen to a state senator.

"She has a lot more clout than I would," he explained, adding that neither of the other two applicants were public officials. He also said Senator Murphy did not get the job through her political connections.

Senator Murphy said she needs more income than her elected office provides because she helps support an adult daughter and grandson who live with her. Also, she is no longer selling real estate, though she still has her license.

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