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Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency Director Gordon Medenica (File)

Medenica won’t get confirmation hearing or vote

The head of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency will have to wait until next year to get a Senate confirmation hearing.

Gordon Medenica, who was appointed director of the agency in May by Gov. Larry Hogan, has yet to have a hearing before the Senate Executive Nominations Committee. Sources familiar with the process say that with less than two weeks left in the session there will be no hearing and no confirmation vote.

Those same sources say that the Senate has no specific issues with Medenica as it did last year with Jennie Hunter-Cevera, the controversial appointment to the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Hunter-Cevera ran into strong opposition from the committee and her nomination was not voted on. Instead, Hogan briefly re-appointed her to the position before ultimately moving her to the Maryland Department of the Environment and nominating his appointments secretary for the higher education slot.

In the case of Medenica, some in the Senate want more time to see how he handles several issues including the regulation of amusement games as well as potential regulations related to commercial fantasy gaming should the General Assembly pass legislation this year. Also of interest is Medenica’s leadership as the agency searches for a new vendor for the state lottery system.

The Senate committee is scheduled to meet April 4 to take up a number of appointees it delayed action on this week. Medenica was not among those appointments.

If the Senate does not act on Medenica, as is expected, he would have to be re-appointed by Hogan and stand for Senate confirmation in the next legislative session.

Douglass Mayer, a Hogan spokesman, said the governor stands by his appointment and would re-appoint Medenica should that action be necessary.

“Obviously we’re disappointed,” Mayer said. “He’s a well-qualified candidate.”

Mayer also questioned the unusual nature of the probationary period.

“Have they put any other governor’s appointees on trial runs?’ Mayer said. “It seems to be a double standard there.”