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Mayor Pugh names top staff, to pay top advisers $805,000

Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, who was inaugurated Tuesday, will pay her five top advisers a total of about $805,000.

Her chief of staff, former schools CEO Tisha Edwards, is to be paid $190,000, which is $19,000 more than Pugh's salary.

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Former Del. Peter Hammen, Pugh's chief of operations, and former Baltimore County executive James T. Smith Jr., her chief of strategic alliances, will each make $175,000.

Karen Stokes, director of government relations, will be paid $137,000. Anthony McCarthy, director of communications, will get $125,000.

Pugh restructured the mayor's executive staff after her inauguration.

Under former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the mayor's office had four deputy mayors, a chief of staff, deputy chief of staff and communications director. She paid the seven members of her senior leadership a combined $863,000.

Given the restructuring, it is unclear how much Pugh's full executive staff will be paid.

Rawlings-Blake paid her chief of staff, Kaliope Parthemos, $186,150 and her deputy chief of staff, Kimberly Morton, $140,000. Her deputy mayors were paid between $127,500 and $167,900.

McCarthy earned $125,000 as a part of Rawlings-Blake's team.

Pugh will save $344,000 by eliminating four senior level staff members, according to her office.

Pugh will not replace Gus Augustus, who earned about $100,000 as a neighborhood liaison, or Leon F. Pinkett III, who earned about $96,000 as an economic development liaison. Pinkett was just elected to the City Council.

Two of Rawlings-Blake's deputy mayors still work for the city.

Andrew Smullian, Rawlings-Blake's deputy mayor for government relations and labor, will work for Pugh through early next year. He is paid $142,300.

Colin Tarbert, Rawlings-Blake's deputy mayor for economic and neighborhood development, will work as an assistant to Smith on Pugh's economic development team. He will continue to be paid $151,600.

Neal Janey left the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice. Pugh tapped Olivia Schnitzer to lead the office.

Janey made $127,500. Schnitzer is to be paid more than $94,000.

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Morton is now an assistant to Hammen for city operations. She is to be paid the same salary.

The city Board of Estimates — a spending panel that controls the city's purse strings — gave the mayor and other elected officials raises last year. The mayor's salary went from $167,000 to $171,000.

Pugh has indicated that she will keep other members of Rawlings-Blake's team, including Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and Fire Chief Niles Ford.

She also wants William H. Cole IV to continue leading the Baltimore Development Corp.

Pugh plans to fire Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano.

—Yvonne Wenger

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