Baltimore County

Baltimore County executive names new agency leaders following last month’s departures

Baltimore County announced new department heads Thursday, a month after County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. handily won reelection and announced the departures of several agency leaders, including Police Chief Melissa Hyatt.

Kevin Reed, the current deputy director of the county Office of Budget and Finance, will take over as director for Edward Blades, who Olszewski said would step down at the end of the year after 26 years with the department.


Before being named deputy director in 2019, Reed worked for the county Department of Health and Human Services, where he served as deputy director for finance and administration from 2012 to 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Olszewski announced that Mike Fried would take over as director of the Office of Information Technology, succeeding current Director Robert O’Connor. Fried previously served as chief technology and innovation officer for the Enoch Pratt Free Library and as chief information officer for the Baltimore City Health Department.


Walt Pesterfield, the chief probation officer for Franklin County Court of Common Pleas in Ohio, was named as director of the Department of Corrections, succeeding Gail M. Watts; while Bob Smith was named acting director for the Department of Recreation and Parks, taking over for Roslyn Johnson.

Elisabeth Sachs was named as the deputy administrative officer for health and community services, overseeing health and human services, housing, aging and recreation and parks.

County spokesman Sean Naron previously declined to say whether O’Connor, Blades and Watts were retiring or leaving for other reasons, calling it a “personnel decision.”

In a statement, Olszewski praised the five new additions as “dedicated public servants” who will “bring a wealth of experience and passion to put to work on behalf of the residents and communities of Baltimore County.

“With the addition of these talented leadership team members,” he said, “we will continue making Baltimore County’s government more open, accountable and accessible.”

County spokeswoman Erica Palmisano said the nominees would be confirmed by Baltimore County Council at a later date.