Official's Senate bid does not violate law, lawyer says

June 21, 2005|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Ehrlich administration official Dilip Paliath's run for the state Senate does not violate a law prohibiting partisan electioneering by state government employees who administer federal funds, according to an advisory opinion the candidate released yesterday.

Paliath, who is counsel to the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, requested the opinion after another official in Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s administration, Phillip D. Bissett, resigned as commuter rail chief so that his campaign for Anne Arundel County executive would not run afoul of the federal Hatch Act.

Erica N. Stern, an attorney in the Hatch Act Unit of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, wrote June 8 that because Paliath's job duties deal with state legislative and policy issues - not the federal grants the crime control office administers - the Hatch Act doesn't apply to him.

Paliath is seeking the Republican nomination in the Towson-area 42nd District, which is represented by Sen. James Brochin, a Democrat.

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