Friday, June 17, 2011

Paul Schurick: OUT

As many of you know by now, senior Bob Ehrlich aide Paul Schurick was indicted yesterday on six criminal counts related to last year’s so-called robocall scandal.

Prosecutors must like Schurick’s partner in crime, political hired gun Julius Henson, a little more. He only got indicted on five criminal counts.

It’s certainly been a tough year for Schurick.

In April his boss and political mentor William Donald Schaefer died. Not only was Schurick excluded from the lavish funeral pageantry which followed, this former Schaefer chief of staff was completely cut out of Mr. Do It Now’s will. That extra cash would really have helped him with his legal bills.

And now, just two months after Schaefer’s passing, Schurick has charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice dangling over his head.

But somewhere in between those two milestones, this Henry Gondorff of Maryland politics quietly experienced another setback.

Just last March, I blogged how Schurick had signed onto a strategic communications firm based in Washington called Capitol Management Initiatives. Schurick called himself the firm’s “of counsel” despite not being an attorney. His lengthy self-adulatory biography on the Capitol Management website referenced his “even-handed approach” and his ability to forge “nontraditional partnerships.”

Well, I guess hiring a political consultant who once called your candidate “a Nazi” constitutes a nontraditional partnership. But I digress.

So I checked back yesterday to see if Schurick’s bio had been amended to account for yesterday’s indictments. Only this time, there was no biography. Nor was Schurick’s name mentioned anywhere on the Capitol Management website.

In effect, the folks at Capitol Management had reduced Schurick to “unperson” status – much like Lainey Lebow Sachs did during the Schaefer sendoff last April.

When the only professional recognition you're getting is coming from prosecutors, it is generally not a good thing.

It’s hard to say what Schurick is doing for money. The Baltimore Sun describes him as an “independent consultant.” I hope for his sake he banked some of the boatloads of cash Bob Ehrlich paid him during the campaign – though, in light of yesterday’s news and last year's results, I’d ask for a refund if I were Ehrlich.

Despite his role in the ill-conceived robocall scandal, I have always thought Schurick possesses some value-added abilities. It will be interested to see if this 54-year-old crisis communicator is able to reset his career in some capacity. One thing is certain, however – if that happens, it won’t be in Maryland.

Anyway, I have not had a chance to go through the indictment page by page. I plan to do that this weekend, and will likely have at least one follow-up entry up during the next few days.

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