Annapolis transportation director resigns

Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides announced another high-profile city employee departure on Friday, as transportation director Richard Newell resigned.

Newell was rumored to be leaving for weeks and at the last city council meeting, he acknowledged that he would be the "architect" of his own departure. Newell has guided Annapolis in joining a new regional bus system, which will reduce the city's payroll of transportation employees.

Several people offered support for Newell during the public comment period of the last council meeting.

The official announcement said Newell was resigning to "pursue other opportunities."

Newell, who had been transportation director since October 2010, will remain with the city for two weeks. Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, the city's senior transportation planner, will then be acting transportation director.

Since Pantelides took office in December, there have been a number of firings and resignations in city government.

Pantelides fired several people who worked for the previous mayor, Josh Cohen, including the city attorney, city manager and mayoral aides. Others have resigned, including the assistant city manager.

The dismissals and resignations have caused a shuffling of roles in City Hall and city departments.

The city council refused to confirm Pantelides' choice for city attorney, Timothy Murnane, who is working as acting attorney on a contract basis.

There is no full-time city manager in Annapolis after Pantelides fired manager Michael Mallinoff in January and assistant city manager Virginia Burke quit this month. Recreation and parks director Brian Woodward was named acting city manager on Friday. Meanwhile, the parks department will be run on an interim basis by J.P. "Flip" Walters, who also is the city's harbormaster.

Pantelides said he is no longer pursuing a national search for a city manager, which he said would cost the city at least $20,000. Seven of the eight Annapolis aldermen plan to introduce a resolution on Monday expressing their interest in hiring a firm to conduct a national search for a city manager.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad