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Posted on: January 18, 2023

Chief Administrative Officer Announces Retirement

Rick Harcum - Frederick County CAO

National Search to Be Conducted for Replacement

FREDERICK, Md. – After serving in leadership positions with Frederick County Government for seven years, Rick Harcum this week announced his retirement as the County’s Chief Administrative Officer, effective January 27, 2023. The Chief Administrative Officer oversees daily operations of all 23 offices and divisions under the direction of the County Executive.

“Rick led the day-to-day operations of County government through one of the most challenging times in modern history, and we are on sound financial and operational footing thanks to his stewardship,” County Executive Jessica Fitzwater said. “It has been a privilege and honor to work with Rick, and I am incredibly grateful for his guidance and support during my transition into this office. His leadership will continue to leave its mark on Frederick County Government for years to come. He will be missed.” 

Mr. Harcum was named Acting CAO in February 2019 and confirmed as CAO the following month. He began his tenure at Frederick County Government as budget director in February 2016.  Previously, he served as director of performance management, budget director and in other budget-related roles at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for over 25 years.  He also worked at the Maryland Department of Transportation as a financial planner and as a financial analyst for a telecommunications corporation.  Mr. Harcum earned his master’s degree in finance and his bachelor of science in business administration, both from the University of Maryland. 

A national search will be conducted to find Mr. Harcum’s successor. Until the search is complete, Chief Financial Officer Lori Depies will take on the role of Acting CAO. From 2012-2014, Ms. Depies served as County Manager, the comparable role under the former County Commission form of government. 

“Lori has been actively involved in the day-to-day management of the County for many years, and she will provide steady leadership as we search for a new CAO. She is a fierce advocate for good government and service to the people of Frederick County,” County Executive Fitzwater said.

In addition, Leslie Barnes-Keating will assume the role of Acting Deputy CAO. Ms. Barnes-Keating currently serves as Deputy Director of the Division of Citizens Services, where she oversees child and family programs and emergency sheltering response during crisis events. She has held several key positions in the division since 1995. 

“Leslie believes in the power of our community to make Frederick County the best place it can be for all of our residents,” said the County Executive.

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Photo credit: Bill Green/Frederick News Post

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