Nutter's PGW point person leaves

Posted: June 29, 2014

AS ADMINISTRATIONS draw to a close, it's common for top aides to peel off for the private sector.

Yesterday, Mayor Nutter, with 18 months left in his second term, announced the departures of three officials who have been with his administration from the beginning.

One of them, however, is leaving some unfinished business.

Suzanne Biemiller, a top Nutter aide who has been leading the administration's effort to sell Philadelphia Gas Works, is stepping down to become chief of staff for the American Board of Internal Medicine.

She made light of the situation at a teary news conference yesterday.

"I do not like to leave when things are unfinished, but I know we have a great group of people working on certain issues, and one in particular. . . . You will get that Saudi Arabian flag on the Parkway," said Biemiller, Nutter's first deputy chief of staff, to laughter. "Obviously, I was also talking about the Philadelphia Gas Works. It will happen."

Nutter's proposal to sell PGW to the Connecticut utility company UIL Holdings Corp. for $1.86 billion needs approval from state regulators and from City Council.

Dr. Donald Schwarz, who serves as deputy mayor for health and opportunity and as health commissioner, is leaving to join the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Replacing him as deputy mayor is Susan Kretsge, a 39-year veteran of city government. The new health commissioner is Dr. James Buehler, a professor in the Drexel University School of Public Health.

Also stepping down is Department of Human Services Commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose, who will be replaced by DHS and Law Department official Vanessa Garrett Harley.

On Twitter: @SeanWalshDN


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