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Rawlings-Blake’s chief of staff leaving for Venable

Peter O’Malley will leave his post as Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s chief of staff on April 6 to join the law firm Venable LLP.

O’Malley, brother of Gov. Martin O’Malley, became chief of staff for Rawlings-Blake in May 2011 after serving as chief of staff for former Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith. He was also formerly chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party.

The move is the latest in a string of shakeups at City Hall since Rawlings-Blake began a first full term as mayor.

Department of Recreation and Parks Director Gregory Bayor, Baltimore Development Corp. President M.J. “Jay” Brodie and Deputy Mayor Christopher Thomaskutty all resigned this month, and Finance Director Edward Gallagher retired earlier this year.

Deputy Chief of Staff Thomasina Hiers will serve as acting chief of staff while a search is conducted, a statement from Rawlings-Blake’s office said.

Hiers also served as director of the Mayor’s Office of Human Services.

The changes also specify that Rawlings-Blake has dropped the title “deputy mayor” for members of her staff, instead referring to the positions as “deputy chief.”

“Deputy Mayor of Economic and Neighborhood Development, Ms. Kaliope Parthemos, will now hold the title deputy chief for economic and neighborhood development. Senior Advisor, Ms. Kimberly Washington, will now hold the title deputy chief for government and community affairs,” a statement from the mayor’s office said.

In addition, the mayor also made other new appointments:

— Yolanda Jiggetts was named deputy chief for public safety, operations and CitiStat;

— Sharon R. Pinder was named director of the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development.

— Olivia Farrow was named director, Mayor’s Office of Human Services.

“I am very pleased to make these new key appointments in my administration,” Rawlings-Blake said in the statement. “Each of them demonstrates a strong commitment to serving the people of Baltimore and making City Government more effective and efficient.”

Of O’Malley, who joined her administration just as Rawlings-Blake was ramping up to run for election to her first full term, she said she was grateful for his service. During the eight-year administration of his brother, O’Malley was a key architect of the CitiStat program at City Hall, which tracked urban data in real time, often for policy change.

“Peter came in at a critical time and made important changes and structural improvements that will have lasting, positive impact going forward,” the mayor said, in a statement. “We are all grateful for his contribution to focusing our efforts to get Baltimore growing again, and for his helping to mentor, promote, and attract new leaders to serve in my administration.”

O’Malley said, in a statement, he looked forward to joining the state’s largest law firm.

“The firm represented a logical and comfortable fit for me in joining a private practice,” the statement said. “I have worked with many attorneys at the firm and have seen first-hand the quality of work that has made Venable such a key player in so many matters across the city and the entire state.”

Bayor, the recreation and parks chief, resigned to take a similar job in Tampa. Brodie retired, and Thomaskutty resigned to become an executive at Mercy Health Services.