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Mayor hires deputy, head of public information

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - 10:53 am

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry has hired a former city consultant to run its daily operations and his former campaign manager to supervise his administration's public relations.

Elizabeth Malloy is the city's new deputy mayor. Before she was hired by the city, she had been a founder and partner in Premis Consulting Group, a Chicago firm that specializes in working with state and local governments to help them use information technology more effectively. Henry met her when she consulted with Fort Wayne recently. Her salary is $120,000. Her predecessor, Greg Purcell, was hired in 2008 at a salary of $115,000.

Joe Fox, the city's new public information director, managed Henry's 2007 campaign for mayor. More recently, he had been deputy political director for the Sierra Club. His salary is $72,000. His most recent predecessors in the position, Vince Robinson and, earlier, Rebecca Karcher, each earned $65,000 in that post.

Henry said he considers Malloy, a former chief information officer for the city of Chicago, a “chief operating officer” and said he has sorely missed having a deputy mayor.

“Without a deputy mayor, I was confined to this office much more than I wanted to be,” said Henry during a news conference. Henry said that with Malloy on his staff, he's looking forward to spending more time in the community, meeting with neighborhood associations and business groups, for example.

Although Fox managed Henry's campaign for mayor, Henry emphasized that he's working for the city, not for the mayor's re-election.

First, the mayor hasn't declared he'll be a candidate for the job in 2011. Second, the mayor said if Fox does campaign work for him in the future, it would not be performed as part of the public-information job.

Their hirings are effective immediately.

“Fort Wayne's truly fortunate to have them here, and so am I,” Henry said.