Franchot Announces Staffing Changes After Departure of Top Aide

    In the wake of unanticipated turnover in his office, Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) announced Thursday that Emmanuel M. “Manny” Welsh will remain in the chief of staff position he’s been filling since earlier this month.

    Welsh will drop “acting” from his title on Nov. 2, the comptroller’s office announced.

    “Manny is a bright and dedicated public servant who is uniquely qualified to build upon the many successes of our nationally-recognized agency,” Franchot said in a statement. “Over the past few years, I’ve seen Manny gain the universal respect of his colleagues and I have the utmost confidence that his energetic and collaborative approach will strengthen our mission to respond to the taxpayers, respect the taxpayers and get results for Maryland taxpayers.”

    Welsh began working as acting chief of staff on Oct. 5, when Franchot’s longtime adviser and confidante Len Foxwell resigned from the position.

    The Daily Record reported on Thursday that Foxwell was placed on administrative leave and then resigned his position after an extramarital affair caused upheaval within the comptroller’s office.

    Welsh began working for the comptroller’s office in 2015, initially in the communications office. He was appointed deputy chief of staff in 2016.

    “I’m humbled and sincerely grateful by the trust that the Comptroller has placed in me,” Welsh said in a statement. “In this new role, I remain committed to ensuring that the Maryland Comptroller’s Office continues to be squarely focused on providing first-class service to Maryland taxpayers.”

    Also on Thursday, Franchot named John Handley as deputy chief of staff. Handley also started working at the agency in 2015, and was most recently as chief legislative officer.

    Justin Hayes will succeed Handley as chief legislative officer.

    Those appointments also take effect on Nov. 2.

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    Danielle E. Gaines
    Danielle Gaines covered government and politics for Maryland Matters for two years before moving into an editing position. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post ― as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at The Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.