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Changing Environment

The Department of Natural Resources spokesman Chuck Gates got a little snarky this afternoon, when asked about Lynn Buhl's departure at the end of this month from her job as deputy secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.

"I can tell you that Lynn has resigned to pursue other options and I can tell you because I know the question's coming, that I don't know what the other options are. I would crack the phone book and see if you can call her at home."

Right. But what are the chances that the former auto industry attorney whose 2003 nomination as chief of the Department of the Environment died an unprecedented, nasty death will answer a home phone call about her future from a reporter?

Reporter dialed. Got the Buhl family phone message. Left friendly-sounding message, moved on, then....Buhl called back.

"I gave the standard two weeks' notice," she said of her Jan. 13 resignation, which took a few days to enter the public realm . "I have a number of friends down in D.C. and they've urged me quite a number of times to pursue some opportunities."
Big town. Lot of opportunities. Could she be more specific?

"Frankly I don't want to jinx any possibility by having any potential employer read something in the paper."

As for leaving Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s administration, "I leave with some regret because I think he has treated me very well...I think the timing is right."

At the beginning of a session promising some of the biggest green dust-ups since her nomination was clear-cut by enviro-crats?

"This session couldn't possibly be that bad," she said. But leaving at its end "wouldn't have worked for me personally."

She'll be replaced by Ronald Guns, an DNR assistant secretary for Chesapeake Bay programs, a Democrat but hardly a favorite of environmentalists.

"He is a very fair man," Buhl said of her successor, citing his experience as a delegate from the Eastern Shore. "I think he'll do a fine job."

Then: "Are you sure this is an important news story?"

Depends on where she's going.

"Oh. Right," she laughed, and bid farewell.

Elizabeth Williamson

By Phyllis Jordan  |  January 27, 2006; 5:16 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Perk$ of Incumbency?
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So Buhl called back, engaged in a dialogue. Maybe the paper should take a lesson from her. Instead of hiding, why not reopen comments.

Bet some of the Post staffers really hate working for a outfit so afraid of criticism that it shuts down a blog when the organization makes a mistake. Then they claim its because people are being uncivil, but can't back that claim up. Oh yeah, the original lie is proved to be a lie as well.

BTW, the original 1/15 Howell column has no correction. That's just shameful.

Posted by: elliottg | January 27, 2006 5:36 PM | Report abuse

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