Just past the midpoint of his term, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has dipped into his 2020 campaign team to fill key positions, naming two former campaign staffers to top City Hall positions.
Marvin James, Scott’s former campaign director, will serve as interim chief of staff, and Brian Doherty, who also worked on Scott’s campaign, will serve as communications director.
James is currently a $112,000-a-year senior adviser to the mayor and also served in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods.
Doherty has been national press secretary for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).
He served as press secretary for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous during his 2018 primary and general election campaign.
Today’s news comes in the wake of a staff reshuffling on Monday that rattled City Hall and sent Communications Director Cirilo Manego III and Chief of Staff Chezia Cager packing.
Administration officials kept silent about the Monday purge as sources told The Brew the firings stemmed in part from outside work Manego was allegedly doing on city time and Cager’s alleged failure to stop it.
While silent about the dismissals, Scott today touted areas where he said his administration “has made record progress.”
He cited “increasing investment in our schools, reducing unemployment and expanding partnerships between community and police to reduce violent crime” and said his success “is due in part to talented professionals” on his staff.
Two other changes were made as part of the staff shake-up:
• Blair Adams will serve as deputy director for the Mayor’s Office of Communications.
Serving most recently as director of communications for the Department of Public Works, Adams previously directed communications at the Baltimore Fire Department.
• Caron Watkins will become director of policy and strategy under City Administrator Faith Leach.
Currently deputy chief equity officer in the Mayor’s Office of Equity and Civil Rights, Watkins was an assistant state’s attorney and chief of staff to former Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. From 2013 to 2015, she was communications director for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.