Governor ally gets state position FOP leader worked with Glendening in Prince George's

June 08, 1996|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF

Darryl A. Jones Sr., president of Maryland's police union and a key political ally of Gov. Parris N. Glendening, has been hired by state transportation officials for a $41,000-a-year, no-bid consulting job.

Officials at the Department of Transportation said they did not advertise the new job or interview other candidates. Personnel rules that require such a process do not apply to contractual positions, a spokeswoman said.

Jones began work in late February as a full-time contractual employee on a one-year, renewable agreement. He is a roving adviser on law enforcement and pension matters, transportation officials said.

As president of the Prince George's County police union when Glendening was county executive, Jones helped win pension and other benefits for officers that are considered by many union officials to be the best in the state.

Jones left his job as a corporal in the Prince George's police force in fall 1994 with a job-related medical condition that enti-

7tles him to disability payments. He resigned as head of the county's Fraternal Order of Police the same year, but continues to serve as the elected president of the statewide FOP.

In that position, he cast a key vote that helped secure the union's endorsement of Glendening in the 1994 gubernatorial race.

Major F. Riddick Jr., the governor's chief of staff, said this week that Jones began to seek state employment soon after Glendening's victory. Riddick said he encouraged Jones to contact transportation officials about a possible job.

Transportation Secretary "David Winstead indicated he needed someone to do some studies of law enforcement," Riddick said. He said he did not remember if he had urged transportation officials to hire Jones.

Jones was in China this week on a trip paid for by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, officials said. He did not respond to messages seeking comment.

A leading Republican lawmaker said Jones' hiring appeared to be a payback by the governor to a longtime union supporter.

"The governor has a record of capitulating to union special interests," said Del. Robert L. Flanagan, a Howard County Republican. "I think he goes back with Mr. Jones to when they gave away the store in their contract negotiations" in Prince George's County."

After Glendening's victory, Jones was his transition team and co-chairman of the task force that recommended major changes in state gun laws, many of which were enacted this year by the General Assembly.

Jones has also been a registered lobbyist in Annapolis, representing the Prince George's County government. In a report filed with the State Ethics Commission, Jones said he was paid $14,493 for his work for the county for the six months ending April 30.

According to Thomas L. Osborne, deputy secretary of transportation and Jones' immediate supervisor, Jones is advising transportation officials on law enforcement matters, focusing on the department's police forces at the Port of Baltimore, state-operated toll roads and the Mass Transit Administration.

Jones will also review pension plans offered to the various police agencies, with the goal of making them more consistent. "He's an outstanding person, with a good background in law enforcement and public policy," Osborne said.

Although transportation department officials provided some details of Jones' agreement, they declined to release his state contract and resume.

Pub Date: 6/08/96

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