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Mayor names new chief technology officer

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Friday named Jerome Mullen III as Baltimore's new Chief Technology Officer.

Mullen will get a nearly $30,000 raise, for a salary of $160,000. He will be in charge of the Mayor's Office of Information Technology, which has a $42 million budget and nearly 300 employees. The agency spends more than $14 million annually on contractors, nearly as much as salaries for in-house employees. The last two men to head the office resigned amid controversy.

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"Jerome is a proven leader with a wealth of experience and knowledge," Rawlings-Blake said in a statement.

As acting director of the information technology office, Mullen has finished several projects started under his predecessor, Chris Tonjes, including a $286,000 overhaul of the city's website and adding free WiFi to the Inner Harbor.

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Tonjes resigned in June after being placed on administrative leave amid an investigation into allegations the department paid contractual employees for work they may not have performed. The city has never revealed specifics about the allegations nor released any report about the investigation. Tonjes has said it is an "undisputed fact that I have not engaged in any wrongdoing."

The city's previous inspector general investigated irregularities in the information technology office under its previous director, Rico J. Singleton, who resigned in February 2012. Singleton stepped down after a New York state audit found he had negotiated jobs for his girlfriend and himself while working for that state's information technology office.

Mullen has over 20 years of information technology experience, the mayor's office said. He joined the city agency in 2011 as director of IT infrastructure.

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