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The Ice Dancer Cometh

The special committee investigating Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.'s (R) personnel practices heard yesterday from key administration officials who some former employees said were involved in purging state government of Democratic loyalists and hiring people with political connections and little experience.

One of the witnesses, Greg Maddalone - a transportation administration official - has been a prime example for Democrats because of his unusual background as a professional ice dancer.

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Cheryl Demkowski & Greg Maddalone

Maddalone has no college degree and had no previous experience other than working in Ehrlich's congressional office and on his campaign. He was paid more than $70,000 to work on legislative affairs at the Maryland Port Administration.

Yesterday, Maddalone made clear he was fed up with being a target. A question about his skating hobby set off an impassioned defense.

"At no time am I going to run from that fact," Maddalone said. "I am very passionate about my skating. It's a hobby. I believe today that we never would have had this conversation if I was a baseball, football or basketball player," he told committee members.

"Just because I'm a figure skater, is that some kind of innuendo," he asked.

The questioner, Del. George Edwards (D-Garrett), who appeared sympathetic to the witness, said he just wanted to clear up any misconceptions.

The Ehrlich administration has called the committee's hearings a "witch hunt" and a waste of taxpyer money.

By Ann Marimow  |  May 12, 2006; 4:35 PM ET
 
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