Baltimore Deputy Mayor Christopher Thomaskutty is leaving city government after nine years to become an executive at Mercy Medical Center, city officials said Friday.

Thomaskutty, who has served as a deputy mayor since 2007, oversees public safety and operations for the city. He will become vice president for corporate affairs and chief of staff for Mercy Health Services, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's office said.

"With Chris, Mercy is getting someone who is a great talent and a great manager. He has proven he knows how to make large, complex organizations more effective and efficient, and Baltimore is better for his efforts," Rawlings-Blake said in statement. "He will be missed here at City Hall, and I wish him the best with his future endeavors."

"Working in City Hall has been the most challenging and rewarding experience I've had, and it has been a great pleasure to serve," Thomaskutty said. "I want to thank Mayor Rawlings-Blake for her outstanding leadership as Mayor over the past two years."

A graduate of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government with a master's degree in public policy and urban planning, Thomaskutty began working for Baltimore's CitiStat office in 2003 under then-Mayor Martin O'Malley.

In addition to analyzing municipal data, Thomaskutty led a program to repair 2,000 school water fountains and created a system to track complaints for the city's Board of Elections, according to the administration.

As deputy mayor, Thomaskutty has overseen the Finance Department, police, fire and emergency operations, as well as essential services such as water and sewers and trash collection.

A native of Alabama, Thomaskutty is known for wearing his trademark bow ties in City Hall. He lives with his wife and two young children in South Baltimore's Riverside neighborhood.

Thomaskutty's resignation marks the latest in a string of high-level departures from City Hall. Former city Finance Director Edward J. Gallagher retired this year after nearly three decades with the city. M.J. "Jay" Brodie, the head of the quasi-public Baltimore Development Corp., recently announced he would soon retire after a career in city government that began in 1969.

julie.scharper@baltsun.com

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