Gov. Tom Wolf Recalls State Police Nominee Marcus Brown
Gov. Tom Wolf today recalled the nomination of Marcus Brown to lead the Pennsylvania State Police, but said Brown would stay in the post as acting commissioner — signaling, perhaps, that he’d wait and try to have Brown confirmed to the post at a later date.
“I continue to have full faith in Col. Brown’s ability to lead the State Police, and he will remain as acting commissioner,” Wolf said in a press release.
Brown’s nomination had been beset by controversy almost from the start. “Brown, of Hampden Twp., has been dogged by an assortment of controversies that ranged from his homestead tax credits to his decision to wear a state police uniform,” PennLive reports. “He was on the hot seat answering questions about those issues at his confirmation hearing last week before the Senate Law and Justice Committee. The committee took no position on Brown’s confirmation.”
The uniform controversy was particularly salient among state troopers and their supporters who say the uniform must be earned by graduating from the state police academy; Brown did not. He said he wore the uniform as a sign of respect to rank-and-file members of the force.
Republicans had already said they might not allow Brown’s nomination to be withdrawn from Senate consideration. Majority Leader Sen. Jake Corman said he was interested in a recall only if Wolf promises not to re-nominate Brown.
“We’re not interested in prolonging this another six months,” Corman told PennLive. “If he wants to recall and move on to another nominee, that’s a different story.”
But Wolf avoided making such a promise in his announcement today, signaling he could resubmit Brown’s nomination once the heat of opposition has died down.
“It is common practice for governors to recall nominations to allow time for additional discussion, and historically the Senate honors a governor’s decision,” Wolf said in the statement, adding: “Col. Brown has been in law enforcement for 25 years and has improved each agency he has led. The Pennsylvania State Police are the commonwealth’s top law enforcement agency, and Col. Brown has the experience necessary to serve in the role of commissioner.
Before returning to Pennsylvania, Brown served as head of the Maryland State Police.
Follow @JoelMMathis on Twitter.