The search is underway for a replacement for Gerri Mason Hall, Mayor Vincent Gray’s former chief of staff who resigned earlier this year after admitted hiring missteps in the fledgling administration.

Doxie McCoy, Gray’s spokeswoman, said the mayor is looking for someone with proven managerial skills, who fully supports his four-pronged goals.

“Mayor Gray will select a highly-qualified person with a background and experience enabling he or she to manage an expansive group of employees and can help move the District forward as One City,” she said in an e-mail.

The mayor did not want to specifically confirm names, as it is a “personnel issue and won’t want to impact the selection process,” McCoy said.

However, The Washington Post said the mayor confirmed one name, Christopher Murphy, the deputy chief of staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Gerri Mason Hall resigned after local newspaper reports revealed rampant hiring improprieties, including $200,000 salary caps and the hiring of five children of employees, including Hall’s son. Those reports and subsequent developments led to a DC Council investigation of executive hiring practices and investigations by three different agencies, including the FBI, which are still ongoing.

Hall, a former executive at Sodexho, was appointed to the COS post in December. In March, the mayor requested her resignation.

“Gerri and I discussed this matter extensively and we both agreed that the distractions of the past few weeks have overshadowed the important work of this government,” said the Mayor Vincent Gray in a March press release. “We have agreed that this decision is in the best interest of the city.”

In the same release, Gray called Paul Quander, who has been the deputy mayor for Public Safety and Justice, to serve as the acting chief of staff until he completed his search for a replacement.


Erica Butler

AFRO Staff Writer