Gary appoints safety adviser Larry W. Tolliver, ex-state police chief, fills Arundel vacancy

November 09, 1996|By Scott Wilson | Scott Wilson,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County Executive John G. Gary named former Maryland State Police Superintendent Larry W. Tolliver yesterday be his top public safety adviser, filling a job left vacant last month when Aubrey L. Linton resigned in the wake of a bigamy indictment.

Tolliver, 51, will start work Monday. His salary is being negotiated, but administration officials said he will be paid about $55,000 a year -- roughly $5,000 more than Linton made.

The public safety liaison is the county executive's chief link to more than 1,000 Anne Arundel police and firefighters, as well as an adviser on operations at the county's 400-bed Glen Burnie Detention Center, expected to open next fall.

"Larry will bring a wealth of experience, exciting ideas, and a drive for success," Gary said in a written statement.

Tolliver's law-enforcement career has sometimes been controversial.

He served in the Maryland State Police for 28 years, rising to its top rank before retiring last year amid a sexual harassment scandal in the 1,500-member force.

Tolliver was criticized for failing to act on nine formal complaints of sexual harassment, three federal discrimination lawsuits and the resignation of a psychologist who complained repeatedly about male troopers tormenting women troopers.

Before leaving, Tolliver set up a panel to make recommendations on how to fix the problem. He also started the "Maryland's Most Wanted" television program and a community-policing program known as "Operation People."

In February, Gary hired Tolliver as a $28-an-hour consultant to analyze security at the county courthouse, and was criticized by county unions for doing so. Tolliver was paid $30,000 for his report.

"He was very pleased with the product he received from Mr. Tolliver," said Lisa Ritter, Gary's spokeswoman. "It indicated improvements that could be made at moderate prices, and ranked those that would be more costly."

Tolliver once was former Gov. William Donald Schaefer's top bodyguard. Schaefer, Maryland's consummate Democrat, appointed Tolliver to head the state police in May 1992.

Ritter said Gary, a Republican, considered others for the job, but did not interview anyone else.

Tolliver, who four years ago was shot at by drug dealers while touring the Pioneer City housing project, fills a position on the executive staff left vacant with Linton's retirement last month.

A former paramedic in Prince George's County, Linton was indicted by an Anne Arundel grand jury last month on bigamy and perjury charges. Gary, a friend for more than two decades, was best man at Linton's August 1995 wedding that allegedly made him a bigamist. Linton is accused of marrying Sheila M. Sample without divorcing his second wife, Robin C. Wilkinson, and lying on his marriage license about doing so.

The public safety liaison position has been controversial for years. Neall left the position open for much of his term to save money.

Shortly after taking office in December 1994, Gary named Linton to the post over protests from County Council Democrats, who claimed Gary was hiring friends for positions that should be eliminated. Gary used money from his budget to hire Linton.

"He continues to bring these people on board," said LeRoy A. Wilkison, president of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 1563. "I don't know if it's even necessary to have a liaison. What we need are firemen out on the streets."

Pub Date: 11/09/96

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