Gray fires chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall

Two and a half months into his term, Mayor Vincent Gray’s chief of staff is casualty in the administration.

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Gray said Wednesday that he asked for the resignation of his chief of staff, Gerri Mason Hall. The announcement of her firing was announced moments before she was set to testify before a D.C. council committee about high salaries paid to staffers

"I have requested and accepted the resignation of my chief of staff," he said. "Paul Quander is replacing her."

Qaunder is deputy mayor for Public Safety and Justice.

In a statement, Mason Hall said she had a personal need to move on professionally.

"Today I tendered my resignation to Mayor Vincent C. Gray as his Chief of Staff,” Hall Mason said in a statement. “This has been an educational and eye-opening experience. While I appreciate the mayor's support, I strongly feel that remaining in this position would only cause continued distractions for the mayor and his administration.”

Gray has come under fire for cronyism and chaos in his administration.

He said he discussed the issue extensively with Mason Hall. He said the pair agreed that the distractions over personnel matters has been overshadowing his administration’s work.

Mason Hall appeared to agree.

"I refuse to let my presence be the focal point of the administration and the reason why Mayor Gray's progress is not getting the attention it deserves,” Hall Mason said. “I left the private sector to take this job - and my service to the city was a calling and never a source of self-enrichment.”

Gray said he likes Mason Hall and has known her for more than 20 years. Hall, a former executive at Sodexo, is going to return to the company, Gray said.

Among other issues people have complained that some staffers were getting too-high salaries.

Three staffers, in fact, are paid more than the mayor.

Those staffers are: City Administrator Allen Lew, who makes $300,000. The police chief and schools chancellor also make more than Gray.

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