Schaefer to celebrate office's anniversary
                    Comptroller position established in 1852

                    The Associated Press
                    Originally published January 24, 2002, 12:43 PM EST

                    ANNAPOLIS -- Donning the black top hat and long overcoat of
                    Maryland's first comptroller, current Comptroller William Donald
                    Schaefer announced celebrations today to mark the 150th anniversary of
                    his office.

                    Created by the state constitution of 1851, the first comptroller, Philip
                    Francis Thomas, took office in 1852. The observance of that event will
                    begin with parties on Feb. 22.

                    The comptroller was created to have "general supertintendence of
                    fiscal affairs" and today is primarily known as the state's tax collecting
                    agency.  Thomas, like Schaefer, was a former governor.

                    "Some people right now expect me to jump in a pool," quipped the
                    80-year-old Schaefer, referring to his most famous stunt, a dip in the seal
                    pool at Baltimore's National Aquarium.

                    Schaefer, who was mayor of Baltimore at the time, had promised to go
                    into the pool if the facility was not completed on time.

                    Also marking the anniversary of the comptroller's office will be an exhibit
                    of portraits of the 30 comptrollers at the State House and a videotape of
                    the history of the office.

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                    Maryland Comptroller's Office:

                    Copyright © 2002, The Associated Press