Olszewski Keeping Some Key Kamenetz Agency Heads For Now

    Baltimore County Executive John A. “Johnny O” Olszewski Jr. (D) announced this week that he plans to retain a significant number of holdover officials from the administrations of his two immediate predecessors, and that he has launched a nationwide search to find a new county police chief.

    Olszewski, who took office on Monday, has nominated the following individuals to serve as county department and office chiefs, subject to confirmation by the County Council:

    • Laura D. Riley, director, Department of Aging (currently serves as deputy director)
    • Keith A. Dorsey, director, Office of Budget and Finance
    • Gail M. Watts, director, Department of Corrections
    • Michael E. Field, county attorney
    • William G. Anderson, director, Department of Economic and Workforce Development
    • Gregory W. Branch, director, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Services and Health Officer
    • Robert W. O’Connor, director, Office of Information Technology
    • Terrence B. Sheridan, chief, Police Department
    • Steven A. Walsh, director, Department of Public Works
    • Barry F. Williams, director, Department of Recreation and Parks

    In addition, Olszewski announced that he has nominated David Lykens to serve as acting director of the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, where Lykens currently serves as deputy director.

    All of the officials have served under acting county executive Don Mohler (D), who was in office for six months, or the late county executive Kevin B. Kamenetz (D), who died in May, in the final months of his second term.

    “These individuals have been on the front lines of serving county residents, and they are well-qualified to help us build a better Baltimore County,” Olszewski said in a statement. “As we work together to make Baltimore County more innovative, transparent and responsive to county residents, they will be empowered to lead change and modernize our government.”

    Sheridan has announced that he plans to retire in six months but will remain on the job while the county conducts a national search for his successor. Sheridan has served a total of 13 years as the county’s police chief – from January 2017 to the present, and from 1996 to 2007. He served as Maryland State Police superintendent from 2007 to 2011, and overall served in the Maryland State Police for 30 years.

    “Chief Sheridan is a first-class public safety professional who is well-respected by his officers and the community,” Olszewski said. “We are very grateful for his service and that he has agreed to continue in his role as we take the time to select someone to replace him who will maintain the same high standards of service to our constituents and will achieve the consistently positive results we have come to expect in Baltimore County.”

    While Olszewski has filled out several positions in his leadership team, he is also conducting a nationwide search for a chief administrative officer for the county. Baltimore County’s long-serving CAO, Fred Homan, who has held the job since 2006, is retiring at Olszewski’s request after 40 years with the county government.

    Meanwhile, Olszewski announced this week that Dori Henry will be his communications director. Henry is currently serving as communications director for the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins University.

    Henry has also worked as assistant secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor and director of communications at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, now known as the Maryland Department of Health. She is a former reporter with The Daily Record and other media outlets.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.