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From left, former U.S. Congresswoman Helen Bentley, Gov.-elect Larry Hogan and Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey appear at a news conference regarding Hogan’s transition team. (The Daily Record/Bryan P. Sears)

Hogan blasts O’Malley’s ‘midnight decisions’

Incoming governor also announces more transition team members

ANNAPOLIS — Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan said his administration would review all regulations proposed by Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley in the late days of his final term.

“He’s taking a lot of actions here on the way out the door,” Hogan said of O’Malley. “I think 32 new regulations he’s trying to impose since Election Day. We’re going to review every single one of them, I assure you.”

Hogan made his comments during a news conference in which he announced nearly two dozen new members of his transition team.

O’Malley, who remains governor until Hogan is sworn in on Jan. 21, has moved to enact a number of new regulations, including controversial rules governing pollution from chicken manure, and has said he would support opening Western Maryland to fracking under a set of strict guidelines released in a report Tuesday.

O’Malley has also been meeting with families of victims of Maryland’s four remaining death row inmates and could make a decision about commuting their sentences to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The governor could also have one more chance to approve a proposed 25-year lease of recently purchased farmland in Kent County to a Democratic donor. The lease of $1 per year was withdrawn from a Board of Public Works agenda earlier this month, and state officials promised to bid out the contract.

Hogan did not discuss the potential for death sentence commutations but instead focused his comments on what he called O’Malley’s “midnight decisions” regarding regulations.

“I don’t really believe in making all these last-minute, midnight decisions and trying to sneak things in at the end,” Hogan said from an office just blocks from the State House and governor’s mansion.

“With all due respect to the current governor, 32 new regulations and trying to push things through the Board of Public Works at the midnight hour is not the way I would conduct myself if I was in office,” Hogan said. “I don’t think it’s what the voters of Maryland have come to expect. It’s not what they voted for.”

Hogan Tuesday named 20 new members to his transition team.

Katja Bullock, a former special assistant to the president for presidential personnel for Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush; Ande Fulton Rhodes, personnel director for Anne Arundel County and former personnel director for the state; and Diane Baker, former deputy appointments secretary for the State of Maryland will join Hogan’s transition team. They’ll be part of a personnel review group that will look at filling the roughly 6,000 positions that are appointed by the governor.

Hogan named three members of his business regulation review team including: Jim Soltesz, president and chief executive officer of Maryland-based engineering and design firm Soltesz, Inc.; Ed Dunn, chief executive officer of American Mechanical Services; and Abba Poliakoff, an attorney at the firm Gordon Feinblatt, LLC.

Hogan also named 14 people to his transition advisory team:

• Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey, diplomat and former candidate for Governor of Maryland

• Doug Duncan, former county executive for Montgomery County

• Jimmy Rhee, former assistant secretary of commerce and trade in Virginia

• Helen Bentley, former U.S. congresswoman

• Joe Bartenfelder, former delegate and member of the Baltimore County Council

• Doug DeLeaver, director of community relations for the Maryland State Police

• David Craig, Harford county executive

• Kelly Schulz, delegate

• Sam Malhotra, founder and CEO of Subsystems, an IT services company based in Rosslyn, Va.

• Steve Hershey, state senator

• Jeannie Haddaway, delegate

• Chris Shank, state senator

• Dr. Juliette Bell, president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore

• Luis Borunda, chairman of the board of directors for the Maryland Hispanic Business Conference & president and CEO of U.S. Hispanic Youth Entrepreneur Education