Department of Environment Secretary to leave
Maryland’s Secretary of the Environment, Shari T. Wilson, is leaving her post in two weeks, making her the second cabinet-level official to leave the O’Malley Administration since the election.
Gov. Martin O’Malley offered praise in a statement announcing her departure, complimenting her work on new storm water management regulations and climate change rules. "Shari brought an in-depth knowledge of environmental and public health issues to MDE," O'Malley said. "Her expertise will be missed.”
Wilson did not seek re-appointment for a "personal" reason, according to a news release from the agency.
Wilson was the target of intense criticism during the recent gubernatorial campaign, with small business-owners and developers frequently complaining that the agency took too long to reply to requests and unevenly implemented the law.
On the campaign trail Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich would call MDE alternatively the “most broken” or “second most broken” state agency.
The agency is charged with overseeing environmental regulations including compliance with new tougher federal rules, but remains chronically underfunded and understaffed. A recent fiscal analysis showed that the agency’s roughly $264 million budget needs an additional $3 million a year to keep up with personnel costs and additional state and federal mandates.
Robert Summers, a Deputy Secretary at MDE, will take over on an interim basis, the agency announced.
O'Malley's embattled Juvenile Services secretary, Don DeVore, also announced last week that he would not stay on for a second term.