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Corrections Secretary Gary Maynard Is Stepping Down

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BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) – The head of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is leaving the job. Corrections Secretary Gary Maynard is stepping down.

The announcement was made Tuesday.

Maynard has been corrections secretary since 2007. He will become the senior vice president at the Criminal Justice Institute. CJI is a private, nonprofit national firm that provides services to federal, state, county and municipal criminal justice agencies.

“These past seven years have been the most challenging and rewarding of my entire career. The dedication of the employees of this Department is remarkable. They have taught me so much, and as a team we have met many challenges. They have done the impossible and deserve great credit,” said Maynard. “I want to thank Governor O’Malley for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Maryland. His faith in my and this Department made it possible for us to have as much success in the last seven years as we’ve had.”

Gary Maynard was praised for closing the dangerous Maryland House of Correction in 2007. The O’Malley administration also praised Maynard for implementing strategies that reduced serious assaults on staff in Maryland prisons by nearly 60 percent since 2007.

“From the closure of one of the most dangerous prisons in the country in just 12 days, to planting over a million trees to help with (Chesapeake) Bay restoration, Gary Maynard’s resolute leadership and better choices have led to better results for Maryland families,” O’Malley said in a statement announcing Maynard’s departure.

However, Maynard’s tenure also was marked by the embarrassing federal indictment this year of 25 people, including 13 correctional officers, in a contraband scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center. Last month, the federal investigation produced conspiracy charges against 19 more people, including 14 current or former correctional officers.

Gregg Hershberger will take over the department as acting secretary.

Hershberger, who has more than 31 years of experience, is currently deputy secretary for operations at the department. He started working for the department as a correctional officer at Maryland Correctional Training Center before becoming a classification counselor in the fall of 1983. He became warden at Roxbury Correctional Institution in July 2009.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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