Andrew Kleine, Montgomery County’s chief administrative officer, resigned Tuesday, County Executive Marc Elrich wrote Wednesday in a letter to county employees.
The county’s Ethics Commission last year launched an investigation into Kleine’s conduct as Elrich’s top aide.
Kleine was found to have violated the county’s ethics policy when he promoted his book at taxpayers’ expense all the while maintaining personal relationships with at least two private companies that later landed contracts with Maryland’s largest jurisdiction.
Montgomery County’s Ethics Commission in July determined Kleine was guilty of violating the county’s conflict of interest laws.
Thousands of taxpayer dollars were used to buy copies of Kleine’s book.
County public money was also used to pay for Kleine’s travel expenses to conferences where he would promote his book.
Kleine apologized for his conduct and paid a $5,000 penalty as part of a mutually agreed-upon punishment.
Montgomery County Council members lashed out at Klein over his conduct at a July 28 council meeting.
All nine councilmembers refrained from calling on Kleine to resign.
Elrich said he accepted the Ethics Commission’s ruling and remained supportive of his top aide.
Public documents show Kleine’s yearly salary at $280,000 a year.
Mr. Elrich informed county employees Wednesday that he tapped Montgomery County Budget Director Rich Madaleno as the county’s acting chief administrative officer.
The county executive will formally nominate Madaleno, a former state senator, to fill the CAO position on a permeant basis.
He said he’ll forward paperwork to the Council to approve Madaleno for the job.
Madaleno ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2018.
Kleine’s last day is Saturday, August 15; Madaleno begins Sunday.
“Yesterday, I accepted Andrew Kleine’s resignation as the Chief Administrative Officer. Over the last 20 months, Andrew has made many positive and lasting changes to the Montgomery County Government that will continue to benefit our residents, including championing the Turn the Curve initiative to improve services and empower employees. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been an important part of the effort to keep the County’s 9,000 employees connected, motivated, safe, and productive. His last day as CAO will be Saturday, August 15th.
I want to thank Andrew for his many important contributions, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
Rich Madaleno will be the Acting Chief Administrative Officer beginning on Sunday. Additionally, I will be nominating Rich to serve as our next Chief Administrative Officer and submitting his appointment paperwork to County Council for review and approval. As you know, Rich has been our OMB Director for the past 20 months. You may not know that this is Rich’s second stint with the County Government, having worked in the Office of Intergovernmental Relations from 1995 to 2002. In the intervening years, Rich represented Montgomery County in the Maryland House and Senate. I have known and respected Rich for nearly 20 years. Like me, he is committed to building a responsive, efficient, and transparent County Government. While he has a reputation as the numbers’ guy, I am excited about what we can all do together with Rich as the CAO. I am confident he will help my administration continue to meet the challenge of COVID-19 and to help me achieve my goals during the second half of this term.”
Marc Elrich – Montgomery County Executive