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Swaim-Staley To Step Down As Transportation Secretary

First woman appointed to the state post was once the focus of a battle between the Baltimore County Council and then-County Executive Jim Smith.

The first woman ever appointed to run the state's Department of Transportation will leaver her post after nearly three years in the position and 25 years with the state.

Beverley Swaim-Staley was probably best known in Baltimore County circles for being at the heart of a 2003 disagreement between the County Council and then County Executive Jim Smith.

Swaim-Staley announced her departure earlier today. She is expected to remain on the job until July 1.

She was appointed to the post by Gov. Martin O'Malley in September 2009. Previously, she served as deputy secretary of the same department from 2007 to 2009 and 1999 to 2003.

She oversaw all operations at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In 2003, Smith, who was in the first year of his first term as Baltimore County Executive, named her as his first county administrative officer. Personality conflicts and a disagreement over salary between Swaim-Staley and Smith and the County Council doomed the appointment.

Ultimately, Swaim-Staley withdrew her name from consideration.

Smith, 70, is now of counsel at the Towson-based law firm Smith, Gildea and Schmidt. He has been rumored by some as a possible future transportation secretary (and other possible positions within O'Malley's cabinet) since the governor won a second term in 2010, the same year Smith completed his second and final term as executive.

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Buzz Beeler May 01, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Now that is interesting, about Smith I mean. Let me get this straight, a person who would not qualify to work in the county considering their current ADA policy is now in the mill as the next - whatever works position - or as they might say, I can't work for Fred (Homan) but Martin would love to heave me kind of thing. Department of Transportation? As far as I know don't you at least know how to drive a vehicle, and Smith had a chauffeur. Does driving the county into the abyss pass for the lack of driving experience. How is Smith going to find the time with all of the LEGO blocks he's tied up in building.
RARE MARYLAND INDEPENDENT May 01, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Why Smith? The man is 70 years old. How about we get younger! Is Smith trying for a 6 month stint and a third pension?

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