Oliver To Resign State Job
Baltimore County Council Chairman John Olszewski says colleague volunteered to resign after council members expressed concerns.
Council Chairman John Olszewski Sr. told Patch Monday afternoon that Oliver volunteered to resign from the job after council members expressed concerns that it violated the County Charter.
“All of the council had concerns with the situation with (Oliver),” Olszewski said. “I told him he had to remedy this issue.”
Olszewski did not know when Oliver intended to resign from the state job.
“Hopefully sooner rather than later,” Olszewski said.
Oliver did not respond to calls from a reporter seeking comment.
Patch reported last week that Oliver has been working for the department as a finance specialist at an annual salary of $62,700. He makes nearly $54,000 as a councilman.
The County Charter prohibits council members from working for the state during their terms in office.
Oliver said last week that he did not work directly for the state but rather for a third-party contractor that he refused to name.
A spokeswoman for the department said she had no knowledge of that arrangement and that the state paid Oliver directly. A copy of Oliver's state contract, obtained after a request from Patch, shows that the councilman is contracted directly with the department.
Oliver also said in an interview last week that the County Charter prohibition did not apply to him because he was a contract employee.
Olszewski said last week that he believed Oliver's job did violate the charter, whose rules govern council members. On Monday, the council chairman said he spoke to a legal adviser to the council who re-affirmed that opinion.
Karen Glenn Hood, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Business and Economic Development, said Monday afternoon that Oliver gave notice of his intent to resign. She did not know if he had tendered an letter of resignation.
“He verbally advised leadership this morning of his intention to resign,” Hood wrote in an email.
It is not clear if Oliver will have to repay any of his salary to either the county or the state for the job he held in apparent violation of the charter since February.
“Mr. Oliver performed the responsibilities of the position for which he was hired,” Hood wrote in an email response. “It may be more appropriate to inquire whether the county has a position on this issue (repaying county salary for pay earned while dually employed by the state) since there was no legal violation with his state employment.”
Olszewski said he had not given the issue any thought.
“I guess the answer is no we didn’t have that discussion,” Olszewski said. “My first thought was that he remedy the situation and he has done that.”
Olszewski said he didn’t think the County Charter allowed the council to demand some for of repayment.
“I don’t want to comment on it before I know the legalities,” Olszewski said, adding “(Oliver) didn’t break the law. He was just in violation of the charter.”
The council chairman said he was uncertain whether the council would seek to make changes that would give future councils some way to enforce the provisions of the charter.
Last week, County Attorney Michael Field said he did not believe the charter provided a way to remedy the Oliver situation beyond allowing the voters to elect a new councilman in 2014.