Swann sworn in as interim comptroller Glendening labels ceremony bittersweet

July 15, 1998|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,SUN STAFF

In a ceremony that Gov. Parris N. Glendening described as bittersweet, Robert L. "Bobby" Swann was sworn in yesterday as Maryland's interim comptroller and reciprocated with an endorsement of the governor -- and one from his beloved former boss.

Swann was appointed after a tumultuous week in Maryland politics in which the governor's first choice withdrew from the post, left vacant by the sudden death of Louis L. Goldstein, because of the candidacy of former Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

A longtime aide to Goldstein, Swann, 62, promised to carry on the work until a permanent replacement is elected in November for the man who had been the state's comptroller for almost 40 years.

Among the unfinished business, Swann said, was to articulate Goldstein's support for the incumbent Democratic governor. The week before he died of a heart attack on July 3, Goldstein, a lifelong Democrat, had started to make the arrangements to endorse Glendening.

"I can tell you he supported you 110 percent," Swann told the governor. "He always said you were the most cooperative governor he ever served with. And I pledge you my support all the way."

More than 100 people, including many of Swann's co-workers, gathered for the noontime State House ceremony. Glendening noted it was "a day of mixed emotions," as Goldstein's employees, and his three children, watched his deputy assume the office.

"Bobby Swann is the right person to complete what would have been Louis' 10th term," Glendening said, noting Goldstein's role in winning the state its coveted AAA bond rating.

Like Goldstein, Swann grew up in Calvert County. He worked for Goldstein for 37 years and has been deputy comptroller for the past four years, serving before that as third in command of the department that collects Marylanders' taxes.

Swann said he would continue Goldstein's initiatives in preparing the state's computer system for the year 2000 and setting up a program to let Marylanders file their income taxes from home computers next year.

Swann said he will miss Goldstein in preparing for the regular meetings of the Board of Public Works, the three-member board that approves most major state contracts. He said that Goldstein used to telephone him every Sunday night, at 10 sharp, to go over the agenda. Swann and his wife would set their clock by the calls.

Pub Date: 7/15/98


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