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Adding to the recent wave of high state-level departures in Colorado, Governor John Hickenlooper’s Chief of Staff Doug Friednash has resigned from his position to rejoin the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, where he once served as a shareholder. He has been replaced by Patrick Meyers, the Chief Legal Officer for Consumer Capital Partners (CCP) and owner of Smashburger, a popular fast food chain in Colorado. “Doug is a longtime friend and colleague of mine,” said Governor Hickenlooper. “These last few years he has been at the center of so much of our success. His judgment, his robust network of relationships, and his loyalty to me, and especially to Colorado, will be sorely missed.” Prior to serving as the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Friednash served as a State Representative for four years, as well as worked in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and the Denver City Attorney’s Office.


In Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton has appointed his Lieutenant Governor, Tina Smith, to replace resigning United States Senator Al Franken. “Though I never anticipated this moment, I am resolved to do everything I can to move Minnesota forward,” the Lieutenant Governor said. “I will be a fierce advocate in the United States Senate for economic opportunity and fairness.”  Prior to becoming Lieutenant Governor, Mrs. Smith was a Chief of Staff to both Governor Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Vice President of External Affairs for Planned Parenthood in the Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota region, and a Campaign Manager and Advisor for both Ted and Walter Mondale. Per the Minnesota State Constitution, Senate President Michelle Fischbach will serve as the next Lieutenant Governor until an election can be held in November 2018.


In Illinois, Chief Technology Officer Mike Wons announced his pending resignation from the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) to serve as Chief Technology and Product Officer for SAI Global, a cybersecurity company. As the state’s first Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Wons has been credited with modernizing Illinois’ IT systems and services, and still plans on remaining “involved in government IT” in his new job. “Mike has been a valuable member of DoIT’s leadership team and we are grateful for his contributions to Illinois’ digital transformation,” said Illinois’ Chief Information Officer Kirk Lonbom. “We will continue on the accelerated path Mike helped to establish and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.” While a replacement hasn’t yet been chosen, hiring efforts are underway to find one as soon as possible.




Cities and Towns:

Atlanta, GA – Keisha Lance Bottoms defeated Mary Norwood in a December 5 runoff election for Mayor of Atlanta.  The vote was very close with Bottoms winning by 832 votes according to a certified vote tally.  Mayor-elect Bottoms will be sworn into office on January 2, 2018.  She replaces Kasim Reed, who could not run again due to term limits.  Bottoms has been serving on the Atlanta City council since 2010.

San Francisco, CAMayor Edwin Lee passed away on December 12, 2017.  He had been serving as Mayor since 2011.  Current San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed is now serving as Acting Mayor.  In a report, Breed said of Lee, “He believed everyone should have the opportunity to have a good job with a good wage.  He believed in a city where a poor kid from public housing could become mayor.”

Chicago, IL – Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool announced his resignation effective December 31, 2017.  Claypool was accused of false statements and a cover-up in an ongoing ethics probe.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Janice Jackson as Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2018.  Jackson has served as Chief Education Officer for Chicago Public Schools since 2015.


Counties and Authorities:

Dallas County, TX – County Sheriff Lupe Valdez resigned on Monday in order to run for Governor of Texas next year. An Interim Sheriff will be selected by the Dallas County Commissioners at their next meeting in December 2017.

Ramsey County, MN – Ted Schoenecker was selected as Public Works Director, effective January 8, 2018. He was also appointed County Engineer, pending approval by the County Board of Commissioners. Schoenecker is currently Deputy State Aid Engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In a press release, Schoenecker said “It is an exciting time to join Ramsey County’s Public Works department. I’m looking forward to working with the top-notch staff as we continue building an All Abilities Transportation Network, tackle complex construction projects and increase the scope of our maintenance program.”


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