Critics assailed the deal, wondering why the state was planning to sell land shortly after buying it without getting fresh appraisals.
Dyson wrote to Curran that constituents have told him they believe the
state acted criminally in putting together the deal. Dyson said he is not sure
he agrees but said the questions have merit. At best, he said, it is "a bad
way for the state to do business."
Recent revelations that the Ehrlich administration is interested in selling
thousands of acres of public land in other parts of the state make questions
about the Hackerman deal all the more crucial.
"Somebody needs to look into this, particularly if they plan to do more of
this," Dyson said. "It would have really hurt here. It has the potential to do
Curran reviewed Dyson's letter late yesterday and is contemplating his next
steps, said spokesman Kevin Enright. "At this time, he has no comment,"
`Get the ball rolling'
House Speaker Michael E. Busch, an Annapolis Democrat, endorsed Dyson's
request in an interview.
"Good for Roy. Somebody needed to get the ball rolling," Busch said.
Legislative critics have raised concerns that the Ehrlich administration is
embarking on a broader strategy to move public land into the hands of private
developers. Last week, The Sun reported a list of 64 parcels totaling nearly
3,000 acres that the state Department of Natural Resources has identified as
surplus property which could be sold to private interests. Most are in state
parks, forests and resource management areas.
State Del. Maggie L. McIntosh, a Baltimore Democrat who is chairwoman of
the House Environmental Matters Committee, said yesterday she is planning a
hearing to determine how the land was identified.
"It is certainly disturbing," she said.
Added Busch: "Every citizen pays transfer tax to preserve parks and
environmentally sensitive areas, and the idea that the administration wants to
sell them off to developers and large campaign contributors absolutely flies
in the face of good government."