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by Mark Reutter10:45 amFeb 14, 20230

Mayor Scott announces his next communications director

A new occupant of the high-profile position – known for its short shelf life – arrives at Baltimore City Hall

Above: Cirilo Manego III takes over as Mayor Brandon Scott’s director of communications. (Baltimore Mayor’s Office)

Cal Harris was on the job for 10 months, while Monica Lewis lasted half a year.

Yesterday Mayor Brandon Scott announced his third director of communications, Cirilo Reyes Manego III.

A political consultant and voter rights advocate, Manego will head an office notable for its staff turnover, as Scott faces a number of pressing issues at the midpoint of his term.

In addition to Harris and Lewis, four other press officers and acting spokespersons have come and gone in the Office of Communications since Scott assumed office in December 2020.

The latest shuffle occurred when Lewis headed off to the office of City Council President Nick Mosby, becoming his spokeswoman days before a judge upheld an Ethics Board ruling that Mosby violated the city ethics code by lending his name to a legal defense fund set up for himself and his wife, indicted former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

Jack French, Scott’s public face during an early phase of the BGE conduit flap, has joined the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE).

And last month, on-and-off spokesman James E. Bentley II jumped ship to run the communications shop for Ivan Bates, the new state’s attorney.

Christina Flowers, who helped organize a tent encampment protest at City Hall, speaks with Monica Lewis, communication director for the Mayor's Office. (Fern Shen)

Then-mayoral spokeswoman Monica Lewis (right) speaks with Christina Flowers at a homeless persons’ rally at City Hall. Last week Lewis joined Nick Mosby’s office. (Fern Shen)

New Orleans Native

In assuming the hot seat, which paid $160,000 a year when Harris was around, Manego was praised yesterday by Scott for his “proven track record of success.”

“He is highly equipped to enhance the visibility of Baltimore’s equity initiatives and bring much needed attention to the city’s efforts to improve the lives of its residents and communities,” the mayor said in a press release.

The mayor’s office, replying after deadline, confirmed that Manego’s salary will be $160,000 and said his start date is February 21. He previously lived in Washington D.C. and now resides in Federal Hill.

Manego is the founder of The Manego Group, a small Washington-based consultancy, and served as the chief strategic partner and advocacy officer for Black With No Chaser (BWNC), a multimedia and digital communications company.

At BWNC, he said he partnered with Participant Media on Descendant and Lowndes County films to tell “authentic, culturally relevant, intersectional and community-based” stories of African-American history, according to the press release.

A New Orleans native, Manego spent nearly three years as a consultant at The Hub Project, a progressive advocacy group.

Earlier, after receiving a law degree from the Mississippi College School of Law, he interned at the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security.

“Pivotal moment”

Manego says he will help the mayor bring to life his vision of “a more equitable, transparent and informative” city government.

“This is a pivotal moment in Baltimore’s history, and I am honored to ensure that all communication efforts are cohesive, effective and consistent with his overall vision.”

He is scheduled to start work at City Hall next week.

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