Gray taps Ellerbe as D.C. fire chief

Appointee took unpaid leave in ‘09

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“This is the first thing we see out of the new mayor,” he said, chagrined.

Mr. Gray also named Irvin B. Nathan to replace controversial Attorney General Peter J. Nickles.

A senior partner who ran the white-collar-crime department at Arnold & Porter from 1994 to 2007, Mr. Nathan comes from Capitol Hill, where, since leaving private practice, he has served as general counsel to the U.S. House. He also has worked in the Justice Department.

The incoming attorney general said he met the mayor-elect for the first time “about two weeks ago” and that he has yet to meet his predecessor, Mr. Nickles.

“I have not [met Mr. Nickles], but it’s one of the first things I’m going to do,” said Mr. Nathan, a member of the University of the District of Columbia Law Foundation.

Mr. Nathan, who has lived in the city for 35 years, also said he isn’t interested in running for attorney general, which becomes an elected post in the next national midterm elections.

“I will not be a candidate in 2014,” he said.

The mayor-elect also announced he was re-establishing the post of deputy mayor for public safety and justice, a position that Mayor Adrian M. Fenty abolished when he took office. Mr. Gray named to the post Paul A. Quander Jr., executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

As deputy mayor for public safety and justice, Mr. Quander will be responsible for aligning local and federal policies to “help eliminate the conditions that breed crime and threaten public safety,” Mr. Gray said.

A George W. Bush appointee to the federal agency that oversees people on parole and probation, Mr. Quander also has worked for the city as director of the health care services for D.C. and federal public-safety officers.

Mr. Quander, a member of one of the nation’s oldest and most eminent black families, has “excellent credentials and credibility across the criminal justice system,” said a prominent Washington defense lawyer who asked not be named. “Paul has gravitas, good relations and good will with the prison system, law enforcers and the defense community. He will be Gray’s eyes and ears.”

Mr. Quander said he is looking forward to continued discussions with interim schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and with police officials on truancy and dropout prevention programs.

“We had a meeting on Monday,” he said. “We want to keep youth out of the juvenile justice system with a blended, comprehensive approach, and MPD is a major player.”

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