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Maryland comptroller Franchot announces departure of chief of staff

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot highlights the economic benefits of the state's sales tax holiday during a 2019 visit to the Liberty Shop in Westminster.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot highlights the economic benefits of the state's sales tax holiday during a 2019 visit to the Liberty Shop in Westminster. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

State Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Monday that Len Foxwell no longer works as his chief of staff.

The Democrat issued a statement on Foxwell’s departure without giving a reason for it. He said Foxwell’s last day at the agency will be at the end of October.

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Franchot’s spokeswoman, Susan O’Brien, declined to offer further information, other than saying the news release Monday evening “speaks for itself.”

Foxwell did not immediately respond to voicemail and text messages seeking comment.

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“Comptroller Franchot thanks Mr. Foxwell for his 12 years of dedicated service and contributions to the comptroller’s office and the state of Maryland, and wishes him the best in his future endeavors,” the statement said.

Foxwell’s annual salary was $181,000.

Foxwell is an avid user of social media, often promoting his boss on Facebook and at times courting controversy for his statements.

In April, the Maryland Republican Party urged Franchot to fire Foxwell, after Foxwell wrote on Facebook that opponents of coronavirus restrictions should be put in a warehouse and then “let Darwin work his magic.” At the time, he thanked Franchot “for sticking with me amidst all of this craziness and distraction.”

More recently, Foxwell used his Facebook page to call for Talbot County to take down the “Talbot Boys” statue in Easton, which honors local Confederate soldiers. Foxwell lives in Easton.

Emmanuel Welsh, who has been Franchot’s deputy chief of staff, is acting chief of staff, the news release said.

Franchot is the sole announced candidate for governor in 2022, a race that is expected to attract top contenders from both parties. Term limits keep Republican Gov. Larry Hogan from running again for reelection.

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