Baltimore City’s Department of Transportation Director Steve Sharkey will leave his post to become the deputy director of a mayoral office overseeing performance and innovation, according to an internal memo obtained by The Baltimore Banner.

In an email announcing the transition to DOT staff, Sharkey said he was excited to work on Baltimore’s biggest challenges and is honored to have served as the agency’s head.

“No other agency works as hard as DOT, and no other agency does more with less with DOT,” he wrote.

Corren Johnson, a chief engineer and deputy director at DOT, will serve as his interim replacement.

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Sharkey declined a request to comment and directed The Banner to staffers in Mayor Brandon Scott’s communications office, who did not immediately respond.

The Mayor’s Office of Performance and Innovation was formed in 2019, after the CitiStat and Innovation teams merged into one office. Sharkey first entered City Hall as an intern for CitiStat in 2005.

He worked his way up through the building, eventually becoming the director of the Department of General Services in 2012. He was appointed DOT director in July 2019 by then-Mayor Jack Young, a hiring largely celebrated by transit advocates throughout the city.

In a statement, Jed Weeks, interim director of the cycling advocacy group Bikemore, said the organization is grateful for Sharkey’s leadership, “under which we saw adoption of Baltimore’s nationally recognized Complete Streets Manual and a shift toward prioritizing transit reliability and pedestrian safety.”

With Gov.-elect Wes Moore “poised to make record investments in Baltimore’s transportation infrastructure,” Weeks continued, “the Scott administration must quickly find permanent and visionary leadership for the agency and give them staff support to succeed.”

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This story may be updated.

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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