Del. Carmen Amedori, a Republican who represents northeast Carroll County, has been tapped to fill a vacancy on the Maryland Parole Commission, according to the county's Republican Central Committee.
Michelle Jefferson, chairwoman of Carroll's central committee, said yesterday that "we are hearing that it is supposed to be official as of July 1. Until it comes from the governor's office, it's not 100 percent."
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s office is keeping mum, declining to comment on personnel issues.
But spokesman Henry Fawell said, "The governor and Delegate Amedori go way back. He thinks the world of her. She's an excellent lawmaker."
An announcement to name a replacement for Patricia K. Cushwa, chairwoman of the 10-member parole commission, is forthcoming, said Fawell, who did not give a specific time. Cushwa's term expires this year.
Amedori, who is serving her second term in the legislature, did not confirm her possible appointment yesterday, but acknowledged that she was being considered for the position.
"It's certainly an opportunity I would be honored to do and serve the citizens of Maryland in the same regard that I have served the residents of Carroll County with pride, diligence and honor," Amedori said, noting that she would accept an appointment if it were offered.
While the state parole commission uses hearing examiners for certain cases, it has the power to hear serious ones, including those involving inmates who were convicted of murder or manslaughter.
The parole commission can issue warrants for alleged violators and suspend or revoke parole. Members of the panel serve six-year terms.
An open seat
If Amedori is appointed to the parole commission, it would leave vacant state legislative District 5A, which includes Westminster, Hampstead and Manchester.
If the appointment becomes official, Carroll's GOP central committee will have 30 days to advertise for legislative candidates, interview them, deliberate and make recommendations to the governor, Jefferson said.
The state constitution calls for the governor to fill the vacancy with a person from a list of candidates recommended by a central committee.
Jefferson said Carroll's nine-member Republican Central Committee will meet to decide whether to make its selection proceedings open to the public, allowing residents to observe but not participate in the process.
"Part of our responsibility includes being the body that makes the decision on who will be a replacement for a public official when a vacancy occurs in that public office," Jefferson said.
"This is very serious. We're not throwing papers up in the air or picking a name out of a hat," she said.
Interested in job
Amedori was elected to the House of Delegates in 1998 and re-elected in 2002. She is the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.
The former journalist said she has always been interested in serving on the state parole commission. Amedori said that during paralegal studies at Villa Julie College in Stevenson she did research on the parole panel at a time when state officials were changing procedures.
"It's definitely something I would really look forward to doing," she said. "It would be awesome."