- The Washington Times - Friday, December 29, 2006

D.C. Mayor-elect Adrian M. Fenty completed his Cabinet appointments yesterday, replacing several agency heads long associated with the administration of Anthony A. Williams.

Suzanne Peck, the city’s chief technology officer since 1998, will be replaced by her deputy director, Robert LeGrande II, who will serve in an interim capacity.

Fire Chief Adrian H. Thompson, who has served since July 2002, will be replaced on an interim basis by Battalion Fire Chief Brian K. Lee.

Anne C. Witt, who is retiring after running the Department of Motor Vehicles since 2003, will be replaced by Lucinda Babers, the agency’s deputy director. Miss Babers also will serve on an interim basis.

Mark Tuohey, who served as chairman of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission since September 2003, is being replaced by lawyer Matthew D. Cutts. The commission has responsibility for the management and operation of RFK Stadium, the D.C. Armory and the construction of the baseball stadium in Southeast for the Washington Nationals.

Mr. Fenty, a Democrat, also announced yesterday that he would retain other Williams administration appointees, including Emergency Management Agency Director Barbara Childs-Pair and Kerwin E. Miller, director of the Office of Veterans Affairs.

Lars Etzkorn, deputy director of the Department of Transportation, will lead the Office of Property Management, while former Metro chief of staff Emeka C. Moneme takes over the transportation department.

“I think, bottom line, that come January 2 he’s put people in positions to turn the lights on and off,” said Dorothy Brizill, executive director of the D.C. government watchdog group DCWatch. Miss Brizill said the number of interim appointments is a troubling signal that the D.C. government is “on hold.”

Mr. Fenty also filled three appointed seats on the D.C. Board of Education. He named Laura McGiffert Slover, who lost a bid for the District 2 school board seat in 2004; Tonya Vidal Kinlow, a former at-large school board member; and Herb Scott, a former D.C. public school teacher.

Miss Kinlow was not present for the announcement, but Mrs. Slover and Mr. Scott indicated support for Mr. Fenty’s plan to have the superintendent of schools report directly to the mayor.

“I support that,” Mrs. Slover said. “I think clean lines of authority and accountability make a lot of sense. There’s a sense of urgency in improving our schools, and having the superintendent report directly to the mayor would go a long way to clean lines of authority.”

Mr. Fenty did not provide additional details about his plan or when he expects to submit it to the council.

“We have not formally made a decision to recommend anything to the city council,” he said. “We have been very public about saying we’re leaning that way. We would probably do it very soon in the administration. If we decide to have the superintendent report to the mayor, we’re going to recommend it to the council. This is our highest priority and we would not wait at all.”

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