Former Baltimore Police Spokesman Joining Olszewski Administration
The former chief spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department will be in front of media cameras again, this time as press secretary for Baltimore County government.
Baltimore County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr. (D) announced the new position for T.J. Smith and other key members of his leadership team on Wednesday.
Smith is the former chief spokesman and communications adviser for the Baltimore Police Department and has nearly 20 years of law enforcement experience.
A well-known figure in the police force, he resigned from the department in October, citing “mudslinging” and “political turmoil” as well as pending leadership changes in the department.
Smith began his career as an officer with the Anne Arundel County Police Department, where he also served as chief of staff and executive officer for the police chief. Smith holds a master’s degree in management from Johns Hopkins University and a master’s degree in strategic communication from Washington State University.
Also on Wednesday, Olszewski named Rhoda Benjamin as director of human resources, Jeff Mayhew as acting director of planning, and Mike Mohler as acting director of permits, approvals and inspections.
“We are working to make Baltimore County more innovative, transparent, and responsive to the needs of residents and communities, and that requires assembling a top notch leadership team. These individuals will play a critical role in our efforts to build a better Baltimore County together,” Olszewski said in a statement.
Benjamin also came to Baltimore County government by way of the city, where she most recently worked as chief human resources officer for the Department of Housing and Community Development, according to the county news release.
Mayhew has worked in the Baltimore County Department of Planning since 1990, starting as a transportation planner and working his way up to deputy director. He previously worked as a community planner in the Maryland Department of Transportation.
Mohler has worked for Baltimore County government since 2005, most recently as chief administrator in the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections, overseeing the Baltimore County Liquor Board as well as rental registration. Before joining Baltimore County government, Mohler spent nearly two decades in the private sector with Diageo-Guiness USA, overseeing sales for the Mid-Atlantic region. He is the brother of Don Mohler, the longtime local government official who recently ended his career as the interim Baltimore County executive.
Olszewski’s appointments for department director positions are subject to confirmation by the Baltimore County Council.