Gray’s COS Marks One-Year Anniversary
Chris Murphy, the mayor's chief of staff, is celebrating his one-year anniversary today. That's something of an accomplishment in this town, as many of his predecessors haven't been able to last nearly as long. LL wrote about the short shelf-life of top mayoral traffic cops last year after Murphy was appointed as part of an effort to reboot Vince Gray's flagging administration.
Gray's first chief of staff, Gerri Mason Hall, famously flamed out after three months after a string of embarrassing headlines involving high salaries, nepotism hires, and some dude named Sulaimon Brown. Murphy, a Harvard grad and former top official at the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, was supposed to bring a certain degree of professionalism to the job.
So how's he done? Murphy's tenure hasn't been marked by any embarrassing hiring or pay scandals, so that's an obvious improvement. But as for fresh starts, that's not happened either. If anything, the cloud over Gray has only gotten darker since, as federal authorities have been able to secure three guilty pleas from associates of the mayor who helped his allegedly super illegal 2010 campaign. Their investigation is ongoing. Murphy can't help what the feds do, of course, but LL assumes he's had a role in crafting Gray's sometimes tone deaf response. Just this week, the mayor bizarrely held a news conference where he tried to present himself as good government guru on a mission to clean up the city's broken campaign finance system.
LL's asked Murphy for his thoughts on his one-year mark and will update as needed. Update: Murphy stays on message:
It's been an honor to serve the mayor and the people of the District to help create jobs, reduce unemployment, grow the economy, put the city’s fiscal house in order, expand opportunity, improve city services, and get the homicide rate on track to be the lowest in 50 years — to name just a few of the accomplishments of the mayor and his administration.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery