Mayor cuts Bob Wade's pay package Retired city employee offered new position, still to draw pension

'Looks like double-dipping'

Schmoke says plan was not told to him in discussion of job

August 13, 1996|By Marilyn McCraven | Marilyn McCraven,SUN STAFF

Objecting to the appearance of "double-dipping" by former Dunbar High and University of Maryland coach Bob Wade, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has sharply cut Wade's proposed new pay and benefits package.

Schmoke said yesterday he has told city schools Superintendent Walter G. Amprey to offer Wade a contractual position paying $47,000 a year without benefits -- not the $65,000 to $68,000 salary and benefits that Amprey had proposed.

Schmoke said Amprey, Wade and Marlyn Perritt, director of Recreation and Parks, had discussed with him Amprey's decision to offer Wade a job with the school system.

But the mayor said no one told him that Wade would retire as superintendent of recreation and begin collecting a pension while taking the new position.

"Nobody told me -- and they should have told me -- that [Wade] would retire and then take another city job," Schmoke said. "It looks like double-dipping.

"I thought they were talking about him moving laterally. It didn't sound like a big deal to me."

But after reading about Wade's plans in an article Saturday in The Sun, Schmoke said he called Amprey and told him to alter his offer to Wade.

Schmoke said yesterday he was waiting for Amprey to confirm the new arrangement with Wade. Neither Amprey nor Wade could be reached for comment.

Last week, Wade, 51, said he retired July 30 from his $68,400-a-year job as superintendent of recreation.

Amprey said then that subject to approval by the school board, Wade would become interim director of interscholastic sports for Baltimore City schools, making $65,000 to $68,000 annually. And, eventually, Wade would be able to apply for the permanent position.

Amprey had told the mayor he needed to create a new position to handle interscholastic sports because "the job wasn't getting done," and other school systems had one person entirely devoted to that job, Schmoke said.

That job now is handled by Don Williams, the school system's director of physical education and interscholastic sports.

Amprey said interscholastic sports, which involves scheduling games, working with coaches, outfitting teams and other matters, had become a full-time job.

Amprey said last week he expected the school board would informally approve Wade for the interim position before school begins Sept. 4. And at its Sept. 6 meeting, the board would take a formal vote, Amprey said.

As a contractual employee, Wade's appointment also would have to be approved by the Board of Estimates, Schmoke said.

Wade was among the 900 Baltimore employees who left as part of an early retirement incentive program designed to cut the city's 25,000-person work force without major layoffs.

Those who left by July 31, the first and most lucrative phase of the program, were credited with additional service, including a 5 percent payment bonus.

Abe Schwartz, general counsel for the city's retirement system, would not reveal Wade's pension, saying details are confidential under the law.

Wade spent 11 years at Dunbar High School, then succeeded Lefty Driesell as University of Maryland College Park basketball coach in 1986.

He resigned in 1989 during an investigation by the National Collegiate Athletic Association of disclosures that members of his staff violated rules while he was coach.

He joined the recreation and parks department in 1990 as special assistant to the director and became superintendent of recreation, overseeing the city's recreation centers, and sports, athletic and aquatic programs.

Pub Date: 8/13/96

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