Kristen M. Mahoney, one of the longest-serving aides to Gov. Martin O'Malley, is leaving her job as head of the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention to take a position with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mahoney, 44, said Friday that the move has nothing to do with a series of recent departures announced by other officials in high-profile crime-fighting roles in Maryland.
"It was a very difficult decision, but it was an opportunity to work on national criminal justice policy," she said. She is taking a position as deputy director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Mahoney has been executive director of the state criminal justice policy office since the first month of the O'Malley administration in January 2007. Before that, she worked for Mayor O'Malley in Baltimore as executive director of the Mayor's Office on Criminal Justice and chief of technical services for the city police. In all, she said, she has worked for O'Malley's city and state administrations for 13 years.
"I wasn't looking to leave. We have a lot more work to do, and I have been lucky to work for Mayor O'Malley and Governor O'Malley," Mahoney said.
Raquel Guillory, the governor's press secretary. called Mahoney "a trusted adviser."
"We're sad to see her leave, but this is a great opportunity for her," Guillory said. "This is a huge win for the Department of Justice and a loss for us."
Mahoney said her departure date depends on when her new job in the Obama administration begins — possibly as early as June 1.
On Thursday, Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake announced that Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III would leave his job after five years. The same day, Sheryl Goldstein announced her departure from Mahoney's old job as head of the mayor's criminal justice office.