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Nazakhtar Nikakhtar confirmed as Commerce Department Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis

March 21, 2018: Nazakhtar Nikakhtar was confirmed as the Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce by the U.S. Senate on Monday, March 19, 2018. Nikakhtar, of Maryland, is a partner at the international trade law firm of Cassidy Levy Kent LLP. Nikakhtar has worked on representing U.S. industries in the industrial, agricultural, chemical and steel industries for more than ten years. She has worked on trade remedy and customs matters and World Trade Organization dispute settlements. She also works as an adjunct law professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. Before she worked in private practice, she worked at the Commerce Department, advising on legal and regulatory issues related to the enforcement of U.S. trade laws and bilateral trade negotiations. She received her law degree and master’s degree in economics from Syracuse University.

Teresa Owen hired as Annapolis, Md., City Manager

March 21, 2018: Teresa Owen has been hired as the Annapolis, Md., City Manager by Mayor Gavin Buckley, effective on April 19, 2018, Buckley announced on Thursday, March 15, 2018. Owen was most recently the Anne Arundel County, Md., Auditor. Owen is Annapolis’ first appointed female City Manager. Former Assistant City Manager Virginia Burke was the Acting City Manager before Tom Andrews, current City Manager, took office. Andrews is scheduled to resign tomorrow, Thursday, March 22, 2018. Annapolis Fire Chief David Stokes is currently the Acting City Manager until Sutherland takes office. Sutherland is a licensed, certified public accountant and she is a certified fraud examiner. She received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Frostburg State University and her master’s degree in general administration, state and local government track, from the University of Maryland University College. Sutherland was the County Auditor in Anne Arundel County from 1994 to 2016, where she was the lead public policy and financial adviser to the County Council. For more than twenty years, she was a member of the Government Finance Officers Association and the Maryland Government Finance Officers Association. MSutherland currently is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants, and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Kevin McAleenan confirmed as Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Bureau

March 21, 2018: Kevin K. McAleenan was confirmed as the Commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection Bureau (CBP) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by the U.S. Senate on Monday, March 19, 2018. McAleenan, of Hawaii, took office as the Acting Commissioner of CBP on Jan. 20, 2017. He was previously the Deputy Commissioner from Nov. 2, 2014, until his appointment to Acting Commissioner. McAleenan previously held several leadership positions at CBP and one of its legacy agencies, the U.S. Customs Service. From 2006 to 2008, McAleenan was the Area Port Director of Los Angeles International Airport, directing CBP’s border security operations at LAX and seventeen other airport facilities at one of CBP’s largest field commands. In December, 2011, McAleenan was named acting Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Field Operations. McAleenan has been a member of the U.S. Government’s Senior Executive Service since 2006. Before he worked in government, McAleenan practiced law in California. He received his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School and his bachelor of arts degree from Amherst College.

Jefferson County, Ark., County Judge Henry Wilkins to resign March 22 amid corruption allegations

March 21, 2018: Jefferson County, Ark., County Judge Henry Wilkins IV is scheduled to resign tomorrow, Thursday, March 22, 2018—three days after a federal prosecutor revealed that Wilkins admitted taking $100,000 in bribes when he was previously a State Legislator. Wilkins, 63, a former church pastor, has not yet been charged with any crimes. However, in a letter dated Monday, March 19, 2018, to Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Wilkins said he was “profoundly sorry that my own actions make this resignation necessary.” Wilkins has previously announced in February, 2018, that he would not run for another term in the 2018 elections. A Quorum Court Member, Herman Ginger, said in an interview on Monday, March 19, 2018, that Wilkins told him about two weeks ago that "he was being investigated and it looked like things were not going to be good." "What [Wilkins] was telling me was it's going to come out in the paper sooner or later," Ginger said. Then on Saturday, March 17, 2018, when an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article reported the prosecutor's statements, Wilkins called Ginger "and said he was going to resign."

Nick Provenzano fired as Deputy Director Director for U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, Illinois Republican

March 21, 2018: Nick Provenzano has been fired as the Deputy District Director for U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, Illinois Republican. Provenzano, 56, was fired by Hultgren during the weekend of March 16-18, 2018. Officials at Hultgren’s office declined to comment about the details of Provenzano’s firing. “Nick Provenzano is no longer with the office," said a Hultgren Spokesman. The Spokesman said the office only find out about an alleged incident "late Wednesday [March 14, 2018] and immediately placed him on leave before his eventual termination." Provenzano was allegedly found in a car by a police officer in the fall of 2017 with a 17-year-old boy. Provenzano was not charged in the incident. Provenzano was hired as Hultgren’s Deputy District Director in August, 2016. Provenzano had earlier worked as Hultgren's Field Director during his 2012 and 2014 campaigns. Provenzano is a graduate of DeVry University with "training in electronics, computer technology and business management," according to his candidate biography. He was paid more than $80,000 as Hultgren's Deputy District Director in 2017, according to U.S. House of Representatives disbursement records. He also earned another $28,000-plus from Hultgren’s reelection committee during 2017, according to records on file with the Federal Election Commission. Provenzano worked as a McHenry County Board Member for thirteen years. He was also the campaign manager for former Rep. Joe Walsh, Illinois Republican, in 2010, according to his LinkedIn biography.

Richard Lemke hired as DeKalb County, Ga., Public Works Director

March 21, 2018: Richard Lemke has been hired as the DeKalb County, Ga., Director of Public Works, effective on Monday, March 26, 2018. Lemke will oversee the Department of Watershed Management and the divisions of Fleet Maintenance, Roads and Drainage, Transportation and Sanitation. The county’s Public Works Department has about 1,600 full- and part-time employees and a budget of $460 million. Lemke has worked in government for more than twenty years. He has managed several public works and capital improvement projects, such as planning and constructing wastewater treatment plants and fleet maintenance facilities. Most recently, he was the Director of Public Works in Maitland, Fla., and he worked on the Orange County Florida Environmental Protection Commission. Lemke has a professional engineering certification, and he received a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Bradley University and a master of science degree in engineering management from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Jennifer Potter appointed Member, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission

March 21, 2018: Jennifer Potter was appointed as a Member of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission by Gov. David Ige on Monday, March 19, 2018. Potter is an Assistant Specialist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI). Before she joined HNEI, Potter was a Senior Scientific Engineering Associate at the Electricity Market and Policy Group at the federal government’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. While she was there, she was the Project Lead on the 2025 California Demand Response Potential Study for the California Public Utilities Commission. Potter also worked at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District in various positions, including Enterprise Performance Data Manager, Principal Market Analyst, and Project Manager. She also worked as an Electric Analyst for the city of Roseville, California. Potter received her master of science degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University.