Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Beverley… (ALGERINA PERNA, Baltimore…)
Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley, the first woman appointed to serve in that role, said Monday she would step down July 1.
Swaim-Staley, 55, informed Gov. Martin O'Malley's office Friday of her decision, which she said she made after 25 years of working for the state in order to pursue opportunities in the private sector.
"I'm just at a place in my life where I think it might be nice to do something different," said Swaim-Staley, who was named to the role in September 2009. "I've done all the things that were sort of on my to-do list when I took the position, so it was just one of those decisions that we all come to when we reach a certain age."
Swaim-Staley served as deputy transportation secretary from 2007 to 2009 and deputy secretary from 1999 to 2003, when she directed operations at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
During her tenure as secretary, Swaim-Staley has helped form a public-private partnership to revamp the Seagirt Marine Terminal; oversaw the opening of the Inter-County Connector; dealt with multiple controversies, including one regarding contract irregularities at the State Highway Administration in 2011; and managed the handling of a string of blizzards in her first year on the job.
Swaim-Staley, who is married with no children, said her work has kept her too busy to look for a new job, but she intends to do so after helping with the department's transition to her replacement.
Matt Gallagher, O'Malley's chief of staff, said the state would conduct a national search to find Swaim-Staley's replacement, and no decision has been made as to whether an interim or acting secretary would move into the position.
David Ferguson, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party, said in a statement that he was "delighted to hear the news" of Swaim-Staley's departure, adding that she left behind "a 25-year legacy of poor highway planning, deferred maintenance, and traffic that is permanently gridlocked."
Gallagher said Swaim-Staley enjoyed the "full support" of the governor and called her departure a "real loss" for the administration.
In a statement, O'Malley noted the "economic challenges" that have faced the state in recent years, but touted Swaim-Staley's record securing the port partnership and completing the ICC.