Sarno’s Communications Director Resigns…
UPDATED: 9:20 PM: To reflect details obtained from the Republican.
UPDATED 9:40 PM: To show comments from Councilors.
UPDATED 12/4/12 1:22PM: With Tweet from WMassP&I’s twitter account and new reporting.
SPRINGFIELD—After five years of a relative calm among the mayor’s inner circle of advisers and staff, the communications director for Mayor Domenic Sarno has resigned. Thomas Walsh, who has held the post since October 2008, tendered his resignation today. Walsh has served in the Mayor’s Office since Sarno took office in January 2008.
One City Hall source told WMassP&I today about the resignation this evening, praising Walsh for his friendliness and work for the city. The source, whom WMassP&I is not authorized to disclose, lamented his leaving City Hall. Another source outside of City Hall, who requested anonymity confirmed the resignation shortly thereafter.
The Republican confirmed the resignation with both Walsh and Sarno. Walsh told the Republican his work had “heightened his passion for public service. Sarno reportedly said Walsh will be missed.
Ward 3 Councilor Melvin Edwards, responding to WMassP&I’s Facebook posting on this story, called Walsh, “Classy, professional.” Edwards went on, “he was a pleasure to work with.”
Walsh had made news himself on at least two occasions during his tenure. Most recently, he was the subject of a Republican article that highlighted the presence of a Scott Brown sign on his lawn. The article was printed after the Republican obtained an email chain from the Springfield Ward 6 Democratic Committee, of which Walsh is a member, which discussed a member’s Brown sign. Walsh was never identified in the email chain, but the Republican claimed that the subject of the chain was Walsh.
Walsh also made news in 2009 during the city’s first ward election when a nascent write-in campaign was launched to put Walsh into office. Although Walsh declined any interest in the effort, several votes were ostensibly cast for him in that contest where former Ward 6 Councilors Amaad Rivera and Keith Wright appeared on the ballot. Wright won the election, but upon resigning, Rivera ascended to the seat.
According to the Republican, Walsh will be replaced by Constituent Services Director James Leydon. The resignation may have been presaged by recent emails from the mayor’s office, which were sent by Leydon and not Walsh. Leydon replied to a request for comment with a press release that also highlighted the hiring of Bill Baker to replace him as Constituent Services Director. In the release, Walsh’s comments to the Republican are repeated and Sarno says he “appreciate[s] all of the hard work and dedication Tom has given over the years.”
Also for the record, we always appreciated Walsh’s prompt responses to our inquiries & help connecting us w/ City Depts. #Springfieldma
— WMassP&I (@wmasspi) December 4, 2012
Full Disclosure: The Editor-in-Chief of Western Mass Politics & Insight, Matt Szafranski, is a member of the Ward 6 Democratic Committee. Neither Szafranski nor WMassP&I speaks for or is authorized to speak on behalf of the ward committee, any of its members, the Springfield Democratic City Committee or the Massachusetts Democratic Party. All postings, reporting, commentary and analysis on this blog are strictly those of WMassP&I, unless explicitly described otherwise in an individual post.