Key aide to county executive resigns

Steve Stenger

Steve Stenger

A key aide to County Executive Steve Stenger resigned this week, becoming the second top Stenger aide to leave this year.

Chief of Operations Mike Chapman resigned effective Wednesday, county Communications Director Cordell Whitlock said in a news release.

Department of Planning Director Glenn Powers is now acting as interim operations director. Powers has led the planning department for 19 years and has spent 38 years in county government.

Chapman made $130,000 when he began as director of operations when County Executive Steve Stenger took office last year. The position is analogous to the position held under former County Executive Charlie Dooley by former Chief Operating Officer Garry Earls.

County officials did not provide any reason for Chapman’s departure in response to questions Friday morning.

“We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors,” Whitlock said in the release.

Republican Chapman was a key aspect of Stenger’s promise when he took office that he would hire for positions based on merit, rather than offering them to campaign supporters as had been done by past executives. Before joining Stenger’s administration, Republican Chapman made $50,000 as the legislative assistant to 3rd District Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger, R-Town and Country. He previously served in positions with the federal government and as former Gov. Matt Blunt’s homeland security director.

Former Director of Constituent Services John Saracino resigned in January, after letters from Stenger and county police Chief Jon Belmar surfaced that supported more lenient sentencing for Saracino’s nephew, Michael Saracino II. John Saracino had requested that Stenger and Belmar write the letters.