Inside City Hall
Bill Henry hires a Dixon insider to assist in his reform efforts
Andy Frank’s history at City Hall dates back to his glory years as the “first among equals” during the Sheila Dixon administration
Above: Andy Frank will return to City Hall after a decade’s absence. (Comptroller’s Office)
Comptroller Bill Henry has reached back to a stalwart from the Sheila Dixon administration, appointing Andrew B. “Andy” Frank as his new $110,000-a-year deputy director of real estate.
Last seen in City Hall as deputy mayor for neighborhood and economic development and “first among equals” who advised Dixon, Frank left in 2010 to become a special advisor to Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels.
His departure came shortly after Dixon resigned as Baltimore’s mayor following her conviction for embezzling gift cards intended for needy families.
Before that, Frank was the executive vice president of the quasi-public Baltimore Development Corporation during a period when enormous tax breaks were arranged by the city for Harbor Point developer John Paterakis Sr. and Dixon’s former boyfriend, Ron Lipscomb.
“I’m excited to announce that Andy Frank has graciously agreed to return for another tour of duty with the city,” Henry said in a press release today. “His extensive experience will help us tap into our underutilized city assets to support equitable community development.”
Henry arranged for the hire by first getting Board of Estimates approval of an upgrade of Frank’s position.
By reclassifying his job from Real Estate Agent II to Operations Officer V, the overall budget for the position increased by $60,000, according to BOE records.
As a senior advisor to JHU President Daniels, Frank was responsible for working on neighborhood revitalization with the East Baltimore Development Inc. (EBDI) and establishing the Henderson-Hopkins public school. Between 2015 and 2020, he was a member of the school board, serving on the audit and operations committees.
After stepping down from Hopkins in December 2017, Frank established Andy Frank Advisors, whose client list included EBDI and the Central Baltimore Partnership.
Henry today lauded Frank’s recent community work, saying he had implemented the Homewood Community Partners Initiative, a revitalization strategy for central Baltimore, and helped “raise $17 million to make real estate loans to buy blighted property for redevelopment.”
Frank maintained his generous giving to local politicians while a consultant, spreading, for example, $2,950 across five candidates vying to be mayor last year.
He gave $750 to his former boss Dixon, $500 to sitting Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, $500 to Thiru Vignarajah, $200 to Mary Miller and $1,000 to Brandon Scott, according to online Elections Board records.
After Scott won the Democratic Party primary, Frank contributed $250 to his campaign in August, with another $350 coming shortly before the general election. In December, Frank was named to Mayor Scott’s Business, Workforce & Neighborhood Development transition team.
Henry’s campaign received $800 from Frank during and shortly after his successful bid to replace longtime Comptroller Joan Pratt.
In helping to better identify and utilize city properties, the 54-year-old will work with veteran real estate director Walter Horton and a former BDC colleague, Celeste Amato, who Henry named his chief of staff.