Top Elorza aide a finalist for town administrator post in Natick, Mass

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence could be on the verge of losing another chief operating officer.

Melissa Malone, who has served as the city’s COO since July, is one of three finalists for the town administrator job in Natick, Massachusetts, according to a report in the MetroWest Daily News.

A spokesperson for Mayor Jorge Elorza confirmed Wednesday Malone is in the running for the job.

“Melissa has proven a deep understanding of municipal finances and oversight during her time with the city,” Elorza said in a prepared statement. “We appreciate her dedication to Providence and we look forward building upon her work here.”

Malone was hired last year to replace Robin Muksian, who resigned after the mayor’s pick to lead to the city’s board of licenses was rejected by the City Council. Her severance agreement included a non-disparagement clause. She now works for the city of Cranston. Muksian succeeded Brett Smiley, who left the job to become chief of staff to Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Malone is scheduled to participate in a public interview with the Natick Board of Selectmen Thursday evening, according to a meeting agenda.

“This opportunity was presented to me and it was one I felt that I had to pursue,” Malone said in a statement. “However, I remained focused on Providence and committed to ensuring the mayor’s vision for a stronger future is realized.”

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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