Ex-state Sen. McCabe nominated to Ehrlich's Cabinet

January 10, 2003|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced yesterday the nomination of former state Sen. Christopher J. McCabe as secretary of the Department of Human Resources, which oversees government funding of 24 local social service agencies and more than 200 nonprofit groups.

Ehrlich also named Sharon R. Pinder as director of the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs, Jervis S. Finney as counsel and criminal justice adviser to the governor, and Dilip Paliath as legislative officer for the Office of Legislative Affairs.

McCabe, who lives in Ellicott City, returns to Annapolis after a brief appointment in the Bush administration. He served as director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last year, and most recently was adviser to the director of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. McCabe served 10 years in the General Assembly before leaving to take the federal posts.

"I'm just excited and honored," McCabe said.

McCabe said he believes his relationship with the federal government will open more opportunities for the state to take advantage of grant opportunities. McCabe, 46, has a master's degree in business administration and was a development officer at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Hopkins School of Medicine.

"Senator McCabe has the experience in public service needed to deliver positive social benefits to Maryland's most vulnerable," Ehrlich said in a statement.

Pinder, 49, of West Friendship, has been recognized recently for her 20 years of work, which includes expertise in business development and strategic planning. Most recently, Pinder served as president of Early Morning Software Inc., a $5 million professional services firm in Baltimore.

Finney, 71, is the senior counsel of the law firm Ober, Kaler, Grimes and Shriver in Baltimore and a longtime friend of Ehrlich. Ehrlich had landed a job with the firm before graduating from the Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Finney, a U.S. attorney for Maryland from 1975 to 1978, is the brother of Redmond C.S. Finney, the Gilman School headmaster who mentored Ehrlich and helped pay for his education.

Paliath, 31, of Cockeysville, is a native of Baltimore. He received his bachelor's degree in political science in 1993 from Boston College and a law degree in 1996 from the University of Virginia. He has worked as an assistant state's attorney in Baltimore County since 1998.

Ehrlich is expected to finish appointing his Cabinet secretaries by the time he is sworn into office Wednesday.

Del. Robert L. Flanagan, a Howard County Republican, has been making the rounds in recent days meeting with senators who would have to confirm his expected nomination as Ehrlich's transportation secretary.

A former Eastern Shore delegate, C. Ronald Franks, is a leading candidate to be named Ehrlich's secretary of the Department of Natural Resources or the Department of the Environment.

Sun staff writers Michael Dresser and Tim Craig contributed to this article.

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