By ANDREW SCHOTZ and DON AINES
8:48 PM EDT, October 6, 2011
A union official is questioning the appointment of Roxbury Correctional Institution's new assistant warden, but state officials say Denise Morgan is qualified.
Until recently, Morgan was an administrative assistant for Jon Galley, the assistant commissioner for the West Region, according to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
Morgan has worked for the department since Sept. 20, 2002, and was an Administrative Officer III until she recently was named assistant warden at RCI, according to details the department provided The Herald-Mail through a Maryland Public Information Act request. RCI is one of three state prisons south of Hagerstown.
Morgan's change from Administrative Officer III to assistant warden came with a 25 percent pay increase, from $48,762 to $61,040, the department said.
During an interview in August, Gary D. Maynard, the secretary of public safety and correctional services, said of Morgan, "She met all the state criteria. She met all the department criteria."
But Patrick Moran, the director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Maryland, which represents more than 7,000 correctional officers and other state employees, was skeptical.
"She was the executive assistant to one of the regional commissioners .... That's been all her experience as far as I understand," Moran said.
"A number of the folks we represent have been concerned about that and a little dismayed because it smacks of cronyism," he added.
Rick Binetti, a spokesman for the department, wrote that it's "unfair" for The Herald-Mail to publish a story examining Morgan's appointment because "there isn't any news here."
A job description provided by the department says an assistant warden does "Managerial Work involving the administration of Programs and Services for a Correctional Institution — including but not limited to case management, commitment, medical, social work, psychology, religious services, volunteer programs and compliance with laws/regulations."
The minimum qualifications are listed as:
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