by Annie Linskey
10:44 AM EDT, May 7, 2012
Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez is leaving his state post to take over as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's chief of staff.
Sanchez will be her third chief of staff in so many years and will succeed Peter O'Malley, brother to Gov. Martin O'Malley. Peter O'Malley left for a position in the private sector after less than one year in the role.
Sanchez is due to start May 16.
In a statement, Rawlings-Blake said Sanchez will bring “a wealth of great experience" to the job. She said his experience with workforce development will "go a long way" to bolster the city's economy.
O'Malley, in a statement, said Sanchez has been a "highly effective" member of the cabinet. Raquel Guillory, an O'Malley spokeswoman, said there is no word on a replacement.
Sanchez has headed the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation since 2009. The department has a $300 million budget and, among other responsibilities, releases monthly jobs numbers.
The secretary was briefly involved with a flap during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, when he ordered a staff member to remove a pessimistic report on the economy from the state website. O'Malley, at the time, was presenting a rosier jobs outlook at campaign stops.
Sanchez said the report was an internal document never intended to be made public. When reporters from The Baltimore Sun and Washington Post emailed questions about it, he ordered his communications staff to remove it.
"Is it down?" he wrote in a late night email to his communications director. "Call me as soon as we know who posted outrageous info on the site."
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