Coe picked for inquiry

October 19, 2005|BY A SUN REPORTER

Members of the special legislative committee investigating Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s personnel practices agreed unanimously yesterday to hire Baltimore attorney Ward B. Coe III as their outside counsel.

"I view my job as assisting them in gathering facts as a lawyer and providing them with legal advice as to the significance of those facts," said Coe, a partner in the firm of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP.

The special committee selected Coe, who served as an assistant attorney general in Maryland between 1974 and 1977, from eight final candidates. The committee is holding hearings to determine whether state employees were fired by the governor because of their political affiliations.

Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus, the Senate minority leader, lauded Coe yesterday. "Though I don't think we need one, I think he's the right person to pick," he said.

Jervis S. Finney, Ehrlich's legal counsel, called Coe, 60, a "professional friend and a capable counsel who serves his clients well."

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