Top O'Malley aide plans to leave post for private sector

Scott is praised

his deputy mayor job might remain unfilled

September 07, 2001|By Gady A. Epstein and Caitlin Francke | Gady A. Epstein and Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

One of Mayor Martin O'Malley's top aides is leaving at the end of this month for the private sector, marking the first departure of a deputy mayor from the 21-month-old administration.

David E. Scott, deputy mayor for operations, tendered his resignation to O'Malley on Friday, nearly four months after the mayor told Scott he was no longer a good fit for the administration, according to sources.

Scott, 40, a civil engineer, has accepted a job in the Baltimore office of DMJM+HARRIS, a New York City-based engineering and architectural firm.

"We're happy for him, for his family, and he was a tremendous help in getting this administration going," O'Malley said yesterday. "In fact, he was the only deputy [mayor] who had experience inside of city government, and we relied on him very heavily ... in the early going."

As one of three deputy mayors - a fourth, Michael R. Enright, was recently named chief of staff - Scott was responsible for overseeing the Department of Public Works, the Fire Department, the Department of Recreation and Parks and some operations in the Police Department.

A main focus of his $108,700-a-year job was to help fulfill O'Malley's campaign pledge to clean up the city, and he helped organize cleanups and stepped up the city's efforts to fight illegal dumping of trash.

"I got a wonderful opportunity presented to me, and I really am going to miss this public service and working for this administration," Scott said yesterday. "After of course consulting with my wife and my pastor, [I] decided to move forward with it and talked to the mayor about it, and this is going to be good. It's a good thing."

In his comments yesterday, O'Malley chose not to address whether he asked Scott to leave, except to say that he did not fire him. He instead praised Scott for his work on cleanups and illegal dumping, his help with the recent CSX train fire in the Howard Street Tunnel and his coordination of Baltimore Rising, the mayor's faith-based youth mentoring initiative.

O'Malley emphasized Scott's value "in the early going of this administration," especially before the mayor established Citistat last summer to regularly monitor the operations of a number of city departments. O'Malley said Citistat somewhat overlapped Scott's duties and that he may not replace him.

"I don't know that I will be filling that job," the mayor said. "I'll take advantage of this opportunity to change things in this office, and a lot of those operational things [that Scott handled] go through Citistat now as well, so I'll take advantage of the opportunity to reorganize here."

O'Malley hired Scott in December 1999. He had been recommended by the Rev. Frank M. Reid III, the pastor of Bethel AME Church, where Scott is a member. Scott had been involved with the church for several years, including taking a position on the board of trustees.

Scott earned his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1985, and he received a master's degree from the University of Maryland last December.

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