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Cluster: Fred Homan Needs To Go

State delegate says the county administrative officer has a vendetta against the Fraternal Order of Police that is costing county taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A state delegate is calling for the ouster of arguably the most powerful non-elected official in Baltimore County government.

Del. John Cluster, a Parkville Republican, said Thursday that County Administrative Officer Fred Homan is costing county taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in pursuing "frivolous lawsuits" involving the Fraternal Order of Police.

"It's not a good expenditure of taxpayer money," said Cluster. "How many other of these cases is personal?"

Cluster, a retired police officer and former member of the department's tactical team, said he raised concerns about the number of lawsuits the county has lost in recent months during a meeting Wednesday with County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

The next day, U.S. District Court Judge Benson Everett Legg ordered the county to pay related to a lawsuit filed by retired police Det. William Blake.

"The Blake case is a perfect example of how these lawsuits are costing the county more money," said Cluster. "How much money is this going to continue to cost the county?"

Cluster said the conversation with the county executive was amicable but that Kamenetz laid off concerns as a personal issue between Homan and the Fraternal Order of Police.

"If Fred Homan can't separate personal and business, then it's time for him to go," Cluster, said.

Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, who represents the same district as Cluster, was also in attendance. The Perry Hall Democrat said Kamenetz and Cluster discussed the lawsuits and Fred Homan but did not provide details of the conversation.

Del. Joseph Boteler, a Parkville Republican from the same district was also in attendance, did not return calls from a reporter seeking comment.

Don Mohler, a spokesman for the executive, also attended the meeting but declined to provide details.

"These meetings are meant to be confidential so that everyone is free to speak openly," said Mohler.

Homan, a 34-year veteran of the county, was hired in 1978 as a management assistant. In 1989, he was named budget director by then-County Executive Dennis Rasmussen.

Homan later became director of the Office of Budget and Finance when the two departments were merged under then-County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger. During his time in that position, Homan's name became synonymous with the department he oversaw and Old Courthouse insiders frequently referred to the department as "the Office of Fred."

In 2007, Homan was appointed county administrative officer by then-County Executive Jim Smith—a position that by County Charter is responsible for the day-to-day operations of county government. Some insiders refer to county government operations as "Fred's World."

The county has lost a number of lawsuits in the last two years.

Most recently, the county entered into a consent decree with 10 police and fire department employees who had similar complaints about being subjected to unlawful medical examinations and tests. The court-ordered resolution of those cases cost the county about $500,000.

The settlement with the Department of Justice included additional oversight by the federal agency.

Three other employees who were not involved in the settlement have since filed suit for similar reasons.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Buzz Beeler December 04, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Floyd, good to hear from you. Good comment.
Buzzed Out December 05, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Really Buzz? Your new life consists of what? Several failed attempts to enter County politics, a website with a hilarious, picture of yourself (I love the air brushed arms in the Chuck Norris wannabe pose) and posting on Patch but only when you can criticize someone else because of your low self esteem or whine about your justifiable dismissal from the County... That's some life, I bet all the readers are envious.
Buzzed Out December 05, 2012 at 11:42 AM
It's hard to believe that the County employees could be any happier since they're the only municipality in the state to not suffer any layoff or furlough days. Keep talking about the poor fiscal management that allows that to continue...But people like you and the unions forget that fact when they're at the negotiating table and just ask for more benefits. Who's really wasting the taxpayers money?
Buzz Beeler December 05, 2012 at 12:20 PM
I feel like I'm talking to myself. When I ran for council, if you remember that was of the areas I targeted and the reason was because there is no government on this planet that can sustain those kinds of pension deals. The pendulum not only swung the other way it crashed through the wall of fiscal accountability. It is insane to pay $180,000 pensions plus DROP MONEY IN THE MILLIONS TO ONE PERSON. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Research/Files/Articles/2012/10/pension%20costs%20local%20finances%20gordon/pension%20costs%20local%20finances%20gordon.pdf You are speaking in the present tense and it's the future that will sink the ship. Why are your teeth gnashing? Could it be those subpenas and the broadening scope of the investigation upsetting your tummy. There is more going on than you think. As far as painting my arms I don't have a air brush, just weights - heavy ones!
Dundalkwatchdog December 06, 2012 at 04:05 AM
I think with all these personal attacks we are missing the big picture. As a citizen and taxpayer of Baltimore County I applaud the delegate for telling us about the meeting. Remember they work for us, and they answer to us, so why should they be having private meetings anyway. If my representative is afraid to speak out on my behalf unless it is in a private meeting, then he not getting my vote again.

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