A funny thing happened to current Baltimore County Administrator Fred Homan on his way to the office. He was faced with a sign that said, “Please use another door.” Upon opening that other door, Mr. Homan found himself out on the street.
There was a phrase coined for Mr. Homan by a local reporter, who referred to the county administrator as “The office of Fred.” Homan had 40 years of service with the Baltimore County Government. He was appointed to the position of County Administrator by former County Executive Jim Smith in 2008, and during his tenure he earned a reputation of doing things his way with a vengeance.
Homan’s appointment drew public scrutiny after his notorious affair with then Baltimore County Attorney Suzanne Berger. There was a public outcry over the county council voting to approve Homan’s promotion, which included a hefty pay raise.
That began a 10-year regime of bad choices by Mr. Homan that ultimately cost taxpayers close to $70 million.
The Post covered many of these boondoggles, including the Americans with Disabilities Act case that ultimately forced the county to pay out roughly $25 million. That was the tip of the iceberg because, shortly after many of those cases became public, other county workers sought similar relief in various courtrooms.
There were other scandals as well, such as the Yorkway Development deal that cost taxpayers $22 million. We will digress more information pertaining to that issue for a moment.
And don’t forget about the Mainsail Investment deal that went awry and cost taxpayers another $25 million.
The rumor mill was abuzz over many things Homan instituted during his years as one of the key players in Baltimore County affairs. He was not one to comfortably sit back and maintain silence when it came to things that pushed his buttons. It will be fascinating to see whether or not Mr. Homan follows the code of Omerta following his departure.
The one thing we know for certain is that, in the court case in which the illicit affair between Homan and Suzanne Berger was revealed, the “Office of Fred ” fired the county employee who caught him and Mrs. Berger in a compromising position, and the firing happened in a rather cruel manner.
Ultimately, it will be interesting to see whether Homan will he choose to “talk the talk” after he walks the walk … or the plank, whichever you prefer.