Simms named top prison official in Md. Juvenile Justice chief set to replace Bishop L. Robinson

Brosan named his adviser

Pair will start their new jobs next month

October 10, 1997|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

An article on Page 1B of the Maryland section in the Oct. 10 editions of The Sun incorrectly reported that former state police Superintendent George Brosan was fired in 1987 because he refused to promote Larry W. Tolliver from sergeant to lieutenant. At the time Brosan was fired, Tolliver was already a lieutenant.

Further, then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer and public safety Secretary Bishop L. Robinson, who oversaw state police at the time, say that Brosan was not fired because he refused to promote Tolliver to a higher rank of lieutenant.

The Sun regrets the error.

Juvenile Justice Secretary Stuart Oswald Simms was named the state's top prison official yesterday, responsible for one of Maryland's largest agencies with 10,500 employees and a budget of almost $700 million a year.


A former Baltimore state's attorney, Simms, 47, will replace Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Bishop L. Robinson, who announced two weeks ago that he will retire from the $124,413-a-year job next month to become a consultant for Lockheed Martin Corp.

In addition to Simms' appointment, Gov. Parris N. Glendening named George B. Brosan, 61, the head of the state's police corps and former state police superintendent, senior adviser to the public safety secretary -- a newly created post for which a salary has not been determined.

Simms and Brosan are scheduled to start their jobs Nov. 1.

"We are very fortunate to be appointing these two highly respected law enforcement professionals to these high-level public safety positions," Glendening said in a written statement.

Col. David B. Mitchell, superintendent of the state police, was the lead candidate for the top prison post and was asked to take it, but he turned it down, according to two sources familiar with the governor's plans for the job.

Mitchell would not say yesterday whether he was asked to take the position.

"I understand Governor Glendening has selected Secretary Stuart Simms as the new secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services," Mitchell said in a written statement about the appointment. "I believe he is an excellent VTC choice for this important position."

Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who is largely responsible for the Glendening administration's criminal justice efforts, pushed for Brosan to be appointed along with Simms because the department of public safety has become so large.

"Bishop has had enormous institutional memory," Townsend said. "He built it from a much smaller operation. We thought [the department] needed to have a lot of help."

But she maintained that Simms "was always at the top of our list."

Still, the appointment of Brosan as Simms' assistant has raised some eyebrows.

"The appointment of Stuart Simms is an excellent choice," said Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke in a statement read by his press secretary, Clinton R. Coleman. "He's a great crime fighter and excellent administrator.

"My only concern about today's announcement is the suggestion that he might not be allowed to appoint his own deputies. If that is the case, it will seriously undermine his ability to do the outstanding job we know he's capable of doing."

Supports Brosan

Simms, however, said he has worked with Brosan on criminal justice issues for more than 15 years and said he supports Brosan's appointment as his senior adviser.

"I look forward to continuing my work with him," Simms said.

"I'm looking forward to trying to continue the able leadership that Secretary Robinson gave the agency and to provide as good a service as we can to Maryland taxpayers," he added.

A former Baltimore state's attorney and a former assistant U.S. attorney, Simms has worked with Brosan for more than 15 years in criminal justice.

Simms began his career in 1975 as a lawyer for the Baltimore law firm Semmes, Bowen and Semmes. In 1977, he began working as a staff lawyer for Maryland Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes.

Two years later, Simms accepted a job as a U.S. attorney and held that post until 1983, when he became a deputy state's attorney in Baltimore. He remained with the office, becoming state's attorney in 1987 and then being appointed secretary for juvenile justice in 1995. The juvenile justice department has a staff of about 1,600 and a budget of more than $120 million.

Simms is said to have lost an appointment in the Clinton administration, however, because of a 1992 report by a city grand jury that accused his office of thwarting drug investigations involving high-profile suspects.

Report sealed

Judge Joseph H. H. Kaplan, administrative judge of the Baltimore Circuit Court, ordered the report sealed after Simms requested that it be expunged. Simms attacked the panel's report as unfair and amateurish.

Brosan also has extensive experience in criminal justice, having worked as the head of the Baltimore area operation for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, an agent for U.S. Customs and superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

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