A spokesperson for Mayor Muriel Bowser confirms that the majority of staff members in the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services––including 13 Ward-based liaisons and the agency’s director––have been reassigned to different city agencies.
MOCR is the mayor’s primary constituency services organization, and its staff is largely comprised of these liaisons, who field questions, complaints, and requests from members of the community. Some Advisory Neighborhood Commissions have already bid farewell to their liaisons, while others have started to welcome the new staff. A full list of the new MOCR staff is not yet available on the office’s website.
“The mayor always says the [liaisons] are like her out in the community,” says Bowser spokesperson LaToya Foster, citing the intensity of the job as a reason for the shift.
City Paper called each former liaison at their personal cell phone number, as listed on the MOCR website. Most went straight to voicemail. The only liaison to answer, Ward 1’s Sayra Molina, declined to comment on the changes.
The liaisons have been reassigned to a broad swath of agencies across the city, including the offices of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Health and Human Services, and Public Safety and Justice; the Department of Employment Services; the Department of Human Services; the Department of Housing and Community Development; the Office of the Chief Technology Officer; the District Department of Transportation; the Department of Small and Local Business Development; the Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs; and the Office of Federal and Regional Affairs.
Many have titles like “Program Analyst,” but in two cases, liaisons have been tapped as Associate Directors for their respective agencies. Tommie Jones, the former MOCR director, is now the Chief of External Affairs for the Department of General Services.
In late July, a liaison for Ward 3, Russell Rowe, was fired after allegedly engaging in a series of drunken altercations with John A. Wilson Building staff and police officers. Rowe was not originally charged by the Metropolitan Police Department, and was not fired immediately after the incident.