SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Walt Ekard, the retired county administrative head who took over as the city of San Diego's chief operating officer during the turmoil of ex-Mayor Bob Filner's tenure, will step down later this month, the mayor's office announced Wednesday.
Ekard will be replaced by Assistant Chief Operating Officer Scott Chadwick, who held Ekard's position for a few months earlier this year, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria announced.
"I want to thank Walt for all of his extraordinary work," Gloria said. "He deserves an enormous amount of credit for helping put our city back on solid footing after all the turmoil of the past several months," Gloria said. "His management of the city's day-to-day operations has been invaluable and has served as a showcase for his truly remarkable talents."
Gloria said Ekard was taking two weeks off and will return Oct. 16. He will leave city employment effective Oct. 30, he said.
Ekard was the county of San Diego's chief administrator for around 13 years until he retired last December.
He provided advice to Filner after some early administrative stumbles and took on the COO job in July, just days after the first sexual harassment allegations were lodged against the former mayor.
By then, Filner was already plagued by questions over shakedowns of developers and a trip to Paris paid for by an organization that was not properly registered in the United States as a nonprofit. The trip cost taxpayers around $20,000 for Filner's security detail.
Ekard was largely seen as a calming influence in the midst of troubles in the mayor's office.
Chadwick held the COO position for a few months earlier this year following the departure of Jay Goldstone, who stayed on to oversee the transition from ex-Mayor Jerry Sanders.