Natural Resources confirmation clears Senate

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Local,Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Joseph Gill's appointment as secretary of the Department of Natural Resources has cleared the Maryland Senate.

Three Senators from the Eastern Shore made speeches Friday morning, urging colleagues to vote against him. All three said they were concerned Gill wouldn't get along with commercial fishermen.

The vote was 40-7. This was the last step in the process.

Robert Brown, president of the Maryland Watermen's Association, reported in January that Gill had threatened to hurt fishermen's interests if a certain bill didn't pass. Gill has apologized and said Brown misunderstood him.

Sen. Ronald Young, D-Frederick, vouched for Gill's character Friday and said it would be unjust to base the decision on hearsay.

Gill was the DNR's chief lawyer for 14 years and has been deputy secretary since 2010.

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