- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 7, 2006

The District’s deputy mayor for children, youth, families and elders has resigned from her position, officials said yesterday.

Brenda Donald Walker, who was appointed to her post by Mayor Anthony A. Williams last year, submitted her letter of resignation last Wednesday. She will officially leave her position Dec. 1.

Mrs. Walker, the former head of the District’s Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA), said she told Mr. Williams of her decision after September’s primary elections, when D.C. Council member Adrian M. Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat, defeated council Chairman Linda W. Cropp, at-large Democrat, in the mayor’s race.

“It was time for me to go, and the new team was onboard,” Mrs. Walker said. “I had signed on for the Williams administration, and this would be a good time to move on.”

Because about 74 percent of D.C. voters are registered Democrats, Mr. Fenty is presumed to be the District’s next mayor after yesterday’s general election.

There had been speculation that Mrs. Walker would not be part of Mr. Fenty’s administration.

During an oversight hearing last month on the District’s Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Administration, Mr. Fenty criticized what he called “administrative chaos” in the agency and the deaths of mentally retarded residents in group homes.

Mrs. Walker’s office oversees the agency.

“It just does not get through to the executive branch of government that someone is considering putting this agency in receivership,” said Mr. Fenty, who heads the council’s Committee on Human Services.

Mrs. Walker also had been criticized for her leadership of the CFSA.

During her tenure, the agency was accused by the National Association of Social Workers of violating the association’s code of ethics by allowing children to sleep in the agency’s offices.

The CFSA was returned to the District’s control in 2001 after being placed in court-appointed receivership in 1995.

Mr. Fenty did not return a call seeking comment yesterday.

Mrs. Walker said she has informed Mr. Fenty of her decision. She said she plans to take December off and begin doing consulting work with nonprofit groups in January.

“I decided that I came in on my own terms at the request of Mayor Williams, and I wanted to leave on my own terms,” Mrs. Walker said. “It became my decision rather than a decision that was made for me.”

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