Wicomico County Attorney Ousted By Council; More Shake Ups Possi - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wicomico County Attorney Ousted by Council; More Shake-ups Possible

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SALISBURY, Md. - On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Council fired County Attorney Paul Wilber by a majority vote. 

The newly amended county charter says the council has the power to terminate any department heads from Executive Bob Culver's staff after each election. 

Culver was required to present appointments to the council for each department head within six months of taking office.  Culver refused and let the May 7 deadline pass, so the council took a vote on Tuesday. 

By a 6-1 vote, Wilber was fired.  Councilman Bill McCain, the lone opposing vote, did not understand what Wilber did wrong.

"The work that the county attorney has done, those functions, I've really heard no criticism," McCain said. "I've heard compliments."

When asked, Council President John Cannon said it was a personnel matter and had been a decision the council discussed back in November.  No formal reason was discussed during Tuesday's council meeting.

Culver said Wilber's termination will bring chaos to the county.  Culver's staff will only have until July 31 to find Wilber's replacement. 

"I'm disappointed that we've not been able to move forward and we're still into this pettiness of 'I'll see you this and I'll raise you one,'" Culver said. 

Culver says this will be similar to a government shutdown in Wicomico County.  He is asking a charter review committee be formed to reevaluate these decisions.

"The one charter amendment that probably needs to be brought forward, do you want to continue on with the executive form of government?  Because they've done everything they can to loosen the power of the executive form of government," Culver said. 

Eight department heads were confirmed by the council on Tuesday, but two positions remain in hiatus. 

Culver recently appointed Michele Ennis to the director of finance.  Ennis previously served as the director of human resources, so that position remains vacant.

The council will have to make a decision on those two department heads within the next few weeks.  Cannon said Ennis and whomever is appointed as human resources director have not been discussed by the council. 

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