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Md. Senate confirms transportation secretary, ending delays

Thumbnail image for Swaim-Staley.JPGThe Maryland Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved Beverley Swaim-Staley as Gov. Martin O'Malley's transportation secretary, after having twice delayed votes on her confirmation.

Swaim-Staley was appointed by O'Malley (D) in September and had been serving in an acting capacity pending Senate confirmation. The first woman to lead the department, she succeeded John D. Porcari, who joined President Obama's administration as deputy transportation secretary.

Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George's), who had requested the delays, told his colleagues Tuesday that some concerns of some African-American senators about the transportation department had been heard by the O'Malley administration.

"I'm grateful that the administration took these concerns seriously," Muse said, without elaborately on the nature of the issues. He announced he would support the nomination.

Other senators have previously said the concerns centered on personnel issues within the department, including how African-Americans are treated.

Following the 47 to 0 vote, O'Malley (D) released a statement saying the department "remains in excellent hands" under the leadership of Swaim-Staley.

"The recent unprecedented winter storms demonstrated for all Marylanders that our transportation system can withstand even the most daunting challenges, and I am pleased that the Maryland Senate affirmed today that Beverley Swaim-Staley is the right person to lead those efforts," O'Malley said.

By John Wagner  |  March 2, 2010; 1:48 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , John Wagner  
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