New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer announced that Chief Administrative Officer Kathy Jennings has ended her tenure in county government to pursue a new professional opportunity.
It was reported that Jennings, a long-time Wilmington lawyer and former chief state prosecutor will run for state Attorney General.
Current Attorney General Matt Denn announced earlier he would not seek re-election. Her former law partner, former U.S. District Attorney and former Attorney General Charles Oberly was also mentioned as a candidate for the post.
Appointed by the County Executive, the Chief Administrative Officer is the County’s second-in-command, with management responsibility over day-to-day operations of county government and all county departments.
“Kathy has been an exceptional leader and trusted partner as our county government has become more honest, transparent and efficient,” Meyer said. “The deep knowledge, experience and integrity that Kathy brings to her work, along with her curiosity and empathy, have focused our government on peoples’ needs and improving our communities. I am sorry to lose such an effective and knowledgeable leader, and I look forward to Kathy’s work strengthening our communities in the years to come.”
“I leave County government with a deep and profound appreciation for its important mission and with pride in all that has been accomplished under County Executive Meyer’s leadership to make New Castle County more honest, transparent and efficient,” Jennings said. “Our success is driven by the more than 1,500 dedicated men and women who work literally around the clock to keep us safe, maintain critical public services and improve the quality of life for those who choose to live and work in this remarkable community. I remain committed to supporting these goals during the next chapter of my professional journey and I look forward to sharing more about those plans in the weeks to come.”
Jennings took over a post that had been mired in controversy under former County Executive Tom Gordon, who had a very public falling out and fired David Grimaldi. Grimaldi headed Gordon’s campaign.
Acccording to a release, who also administered budgets in the state Attorney General’s Office, worked to reduced the county’s structural budget deficit and was involved in areas such as rundown vacant homes, parks and libraries.
Meyer named New Castle County Chief of Human Resources Vanessa Phillips to serve as Acting Chief Administrative Officer while a search is conducted to fill the position on a permanent basis.
Phillips, a former Washington, D.C. prosecutor, who has been Chief of Human Resources since January, 2017, came to county government after serving for more than a year as Director of Administration for the Delaware Department of Labor.