Annapolis hires new chief of inspections and permits

Predecessor quit amid sex harassment charges

July 11, 2002|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer has turned to a former city administrator to reorganize the city's inspections and permits bureau, which has been shaken in recent months by charges of sexual harassment and the resignation of its chief.

Michael D. Mallinoff, 44, who served as city administrator from 1989 until 1995, has agreed to a one-year contract that starts next month. He left Annapolis to become city manager of Newport, R.I., a job from which he resigned Feb. 1. He spent the spring as a vice president for a minor-league baseball team and working with a group that advises local governments.

Mallinoff succeeds Russell T. Morgan, whose retirement this month ended a city probe into charges of sexual harassment against him, brought by four female employees in the public works department.

Moyer said she wants Mallinoff to look into improving the city's inspection and permit functions, which are divided among the bureau and other agencies, including the planning and zoning department.

Among the possibilities, Moyer said, is the creation of a department to handle inspections and permits. She said that the sexual harassment complaints, which she has previously said arose from inappropriate comments, were not the reason for the reorganization.

"His charge is a broad charge to analyze citywide the inspection and permitting process and give recommendations on revisions," she said. "What we are looking for is a higher standard in terms of serving the public."

Moyer noted that the process can be slow and that functions are duplicated among agencies. She said there has also been a lack of communication among the agencies, which she sought to address during the spring with the creation of two interdepartmental committees. One reviews environmental issues; the other consults with developers before they go through the planning and permit process.

"Mike Mallinoff's strength is in organization and looking at things with fresh eyes," Moyer said. "He knows the city, the players and the processes, so he can hit the ground running."

Contacted in Newport yesterday, Mallinoff said he is "excited to come back home."

"It will obviously be a challenge, but knowing the city of Annapolis and the people who work there, I think it will be a fun challenge and one we will be able to meet," he said.

Mallinoff's salary for the year will be $90,023. Morgan made $85,442 a year.

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