Inside City Hall: O’Malley appointee replaces O’Malley sibling as chief of staff

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake today announced her third chief of staff in two years – Alexander M. Sanchez, secretary for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

The 43-year-old lawyer, appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley to his state post in 2009, replaces Peter O’Malley, the governor’s younger brother, who left the chief of staff post last month after a nine-month tenure, which followed the departure of the mayor’s inaugural COS, Sophie Dagenais.

Sanchez also succeeds the very short reign of Thomasina (Tomi) Hiers as interim chief of staff, who announced her return to state government.

Little Known in Baltimore Circles

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Sanchez has maintained a low profile in a state agency with little public presence, despite its handling of many state regulatory functions and boasting a workforce of over 2,000 employees.

Prior to coming to Maryland and serving on a welter of O’Malley task forces in 2009, Sanchez served as senior vice president for Community Impact Leadership at the United Way of America.

Prior to that, he was CEO of United Neighborhood Centers of America, a national non-profit organization, and executive director for the Hispanic National Bar Association and Foundation.

Alexander M. Sanchez

Alexander M. Sanchez

In a statement released by her office today, Mayor Rawlings-Blake said that Sanchez will further her initiative to grow Baltimore’s population by 10,000 families  – a program that had been  spearheaded by the younger O’Malley prior to his departure.

Rawlings-Blake lauded Sanchez’s “wealth of great experience” and said his knowledge about workforce development issues “will go a long way to help strengthen our efforts to expand job opportunities and get Baltimore growing again.”

Gov. O’Malley also weighed in this morning, calling Sanchez “a highly-effective member of my Cabinet over the past three years.”

“Mayor Rawlings-Blake,” he added, “is getting a very capable, talented and professional leader that will help drive progress in Baltimore City.”

Sanchez himself had little to say this morning.

He was quoted in the mayor’s release as calling his appointment “a great honor” and lauding the mayor’s “record of achievement and success,” which were described as reducing crime to historic lows, strengthening public schools and reducing property taxes.

(Veracity note: the latter two mentions or allusions – increasing school construction spending and cutting the property tax rate by two cents – have not yet gone into effect, with the bottle tax bottled up in the City Council.)

(Also: kudos to Hassan Giordano who called out the Sanchez appointment in his weekend Baltimore Examiner column.)

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  • Kim Trueheart

    He sounds too good to be true.  I have a few questions:  Did our Mayor even try to find a Baltimore native?  Does Mr. Sanchez reside in Baltimore City? What is his salary?  I wish our Mayor would tell US BMore peeps what is the key criteria for employment within her administration?   Seems no one from BMore can meet it, whatever it is!  Lastly, Mr. Sanchez’s first order of business needs to be cleaning house in the Mayor’s Office of Communications … Bring in staff with integrity and who have the ability to inform citizens rather than spin the truth into oblivion, as the current staff of light weights lack the muscle to move any issue forward.

  • Anonymous

    From B Brew: We noted yesterday that he comes from Ohio. This additional info comes from The Sun:

    “Sanchez confirmed that for his new job, he will be relocating his wife and three children from Ohio, where they have lived for the past seven years while he worked first for the United Way in Virginia and, since 2009, for the state. Sanchez said he plans to have his children enrolled in local schools for the fall. He has lived in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood since 2009 and traveled to Ohio on the weekends.”

  • Blacknote

    Hey Kim.  Stephanie’s job, as Mayor of Baltimore, was limited to announcing his appointment.  An Irishman did the vetting. 


    Mr. Sanchez appointment by the Gover-mayor O ‘malley is clear enough for a blind man or woman to see Stephanie never ever had control of city hall starting or she is continuing to look city small.

  • Unellu

    In Brave New Maryland, O’Malley thinks he is an alpha, his cronies and relatives are betas and Baltimore’s ruling class members are, alas,  minus Epsilon semi morons.  Mr.Sanchez would be classified as a beta by him.  But I would say, the entire state is deteriorating into a case of minus Epsilon semi morons leading minus Epsilon semi morons.  I don’t see how O’Malley can make his distinctions. 

  • Anonymous

    I can’t take 5 more years of this nonsense…Recall Election

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