A month before budget drops, Mayor Elorza’s COO is leaving City Hall

From left to right, Providence finance director Larry Mancini, Mayor Jorge Elorza and chief operating officer Robin Muksian. (Photo by Dan McGowan/WPRI 12)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With less than a month until Providence officials unveil their next budget proposal, the city’s chief operating officer is leaving City Hall.

Robin Muksian, who has only held the COO job since August, resigned Monday, according to a statement from Mayor Jorge Elorza. When reached by phone, Muksian said she had not signed anything, but declined to comment further.

“Robin Muksian has dedicated a great deal of her career to public administration and served both the Providence Public School District and the city of Providence well over her tenure,” Elorza said in a statement. “I commend the work that she has done for the students and residents of Providence.”

A spokesperson for the administration declined to comment further.

A former director of administration in Cranston, Muksian was named COO after Brett Smiley left the Elorza administration to become Gov. Gina Raimondo’s chief of staff last year. Muksian previously served as director of operations in the school department.

Muksian’s salary was $127,000, according to payroll records.

Muksian’s wealth of experience working in municipal government was considered an asset to the youthful Elorza administration. She was among the officials tasked with preparing Elorza”s upcoming proposed city budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, a task she said she was enjoying as recently as last week.

Muksian was responsible for hiring an administrator in Providence’s licensing department, but the administration’s selection was rejected by a City Council panel last week. It’s unclear if her departure is related to the incident, which was widely seen as embarrassing to Elorza.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan