Mayor Brandon Scott has asked his chief of staff Chezia Cager and communications director Cirilo Manego to step down from their positions, according to multiple officials speaking on background who are not authorized to speak on personnel matters publicly. The exits are standouts in an administration riddled with turnover and come months after both joined City Hall.

Cager joined the Scott administration in November, serving as the mayor’s top adviser and manager of legislative affairs. Manego was named the mayor’s third communications director in three years in mid-February. Neither immediately returned a request for comment.

The mayor’s office of communications did not immediately return a request for comment about either of the departures.

Cager was preceded by Michael Huber, who first worked for Scott when he served as City Council president and left in September to take a lobbyist job with the Johns Hopkins University.

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Cager was a relative unknown to many City Hall insiders when Scott tapped her as chief of staff, joining the administration from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with a background in communications and operations. She netted $225,000 a year, making her one of the city’s highest paid employees. The mayor will earn just over $200,000 this year.

A senior aide in the mayor’s office speaking on background said that Scott asked Manego to step down as communications director, take a leave of absence and return to City Hall to work as an agency spokesman. They declined to say which agency.

Manego ran his own consulting firm before joining City Hall, which was created in April 2019, per his LinkedIn profile. Before opening The Manego Group, he worked at the progressive nonprofit The Hub Project, where he was a campaign associate and internship coordinator. He did not work in city government long enough to have his salary displayed in a public payroll database.

The communications office has seen the highest rate of turnover in a turbulent administration.

Stefanie Mavronis, a prominent aide in then-City Council President Scott’s office who directed communications for his 2020 mayoral campaign, served as acting director of communications from his inauguration until the spring of 2021, when the mayor tapped Cal Harris for the permanent position.

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Scott asked Harris to step down after 10 months on the job. James Bentley, a longtime City Hall aide who worked for former mayors Jack Young and Catherine Pugh, was pulled from directing communications in the Department of Public Works to serve as a temporary communications head for the mayor’s office while senior staffers searched for a permanent replacement.

In June 2022, Scott announced Monica Lewis as his new director of communications. She held the role for eight months, until she was asked to leave. She now works for City Council President Nick Mosby.

Emily Sullivan covers Baltimore City Hall. She joined the Banner after three years at WYPR, where she won multiple awards for her radio stories on city politics and culture. She previously reported for NPR’s national airwaves, focusing on business news and breaking news.

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