Court says 2 Ehrlich aides must answer firing queries
The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that two former state employees will have to answer questions posed by a special legislative committee that investigated whether former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. targeted longtime state employees for political firings. The committee issued its report two years ago on what were characterized as arbitrary and unfair personnel decisions by Ehrlich, a Republican, without answers to some questions from Gregory Maddalone and Craig Chesek. That is because the extent of the committee's subpoena power became the subject of a legal battle. Now that the state's highest court has ruled, Del. Adrienne A. Jones, a Baltimore County Democrat and co-chair of the committee, said the panel will reconvene to get those answers and complete the report. She said investigative subjects should not be allowed use the courts to stall legislative inquiries indefinitely.
Court says subsidized home-care rules too strict
Maryland's eligibility requirements for subsidized home care for the elderly and disabled are too strict, the state's highest court ruled yesterday. The family of Ida Brown, an 86-year-old Alzheimer's patient, sued the state when it denied her application for the program, which is part of Medicaid, because her medical problems were not deemed severe enough. State officials said they needed to maintain strict eligibility requirements so that limited funds go to those most in need of help. A 2006 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that Maryland was one of just three states with a waiting list for such services, and its list was by far the longest. The Court of Special Appeals ruled in 2007 that the state's requirements were stricter than allowed by federal law, and the Court of Appeals upheld that decision yesterday.