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Christenson to hire three top aides as new Malden mayor

Posted by Matt Byrne  December 12, 2011 10:04 AM

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Malden mayor-elect Gary Christenson said he plans to wipe the slate clean in the mayor's office, and has plans to bring on three top level staffers in the coming days: a business development adviser, an online and digital manager, and a "follow-up person" to track requests for services from residents, he said.

Charles Toomajian, the top assistant to Mayor Richard C. Howard, will not continue service when Christenson takes over the mayor's office in January, Christenson said.

The hiring plan is partly a reaction to themes Christenson said he heard on the campaign trail from voters who sought a more vibrant business economy, improved digital communication, and a more responsive customer service system in City Hall.

"Anyone that wants to meet with me, anyone that wants to go over an idea, I'm meeting with them," Christenson said of his transition. "I'm trying to hit the ground running as much as possible." 

While Christenson has mentioned his intent to hire new personnel, it appears Toomajian has yet to make official arrangements for his exit from city government.

Toomajian did not return calls seeking comment.

Last week Kevin Morrison, director of the Malden Retirement Board, said Toomajian, 53, has not filed a pension application, the first step required for retirement.

Toomajian is due back in Middlesex Superior Court for a hearing Jan. 19. He is under indictment for multiple counts of theft and embezzlement totaling more than $3 million, a scheme alleged connected to his private law practice.

He has been special assistant to he mayor since 2008, and had previously served for 10 years as Malden city solicitor. His trial is set for March.

In an October interview, Mayor Richard C. Howard discussed the decision to keep Toomajian on staff after the October 2010 indictments, saying it was "an extremely hard decision."

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