Nat Kerman

Michael Carter, the city’s chief administrative officer and one of Mayor Toni Harp’s top aides, resigned Friday morning, City Hall announced this week.

After less than five years on the job, New Haven’s Chief Administrative Officer Michael Carter will leave his position on Sept. 7, according to a press release sent out by mayoral spokesman Laurence Grotheer. Carter did not provide a reason for his resignation in the letter. Carter is on vacation this week and did not respond to requests for comment.

The chief administrative office is responsible for implementing Mayor Toni Harp’s policies, specifically coordinating between New Haven’s different public service agencies. As chief administrative officer — a position seen as the city’s chief problem-solver — Carter oversees the police, fire and emergency management departments as well as the public works, engineering, human resources and public safety communications branches of the Elm City government.

Carter was tapped for the job in Harp’s first year as mayor after a national search and “exhaustive series of interviews,” according to a News interview with Harp in 2014. Previously, Carter was the deputy director of operations for Washington D.C.’s public works department. He was Harp’s first out-of-state hire.

“[Carter] is a seasoned professional,” Harp told the News in 2014. “He’s set up a system of metrics within his departments … with that he can bring New Haven to the next level in its delivery of services.”

But Carter’s time on the job did not come without controversy.

After lashing out at union official at a meeting last year, he received a written warning from Harp — much to the ire of multiple union leaders who called for his firing citing the Elm City’s zero-tolerance workplace violence policy.

In 2017, Carter verbally berated Local 3144 Vice President Harold Brooks and yelled, “Let’s take this outside,” at a meeting to discuss the termination of another union official. Though Carter apologized after exiting the room for a short period, the police were summoned and many union leaders called for Carter to be fired.

“As I verbally explained to you last week, I am following up with this written warning to make clear that I do not condone your actions, and they will not be tolerated,” Harp wrote to Carter at the time. “As the city’s chief administrator, I expect you to maintain a high level of professionalism and decorum at all times, particularly in the more challenging situations.”

Harp is currently in her third term as mayor.

 

Ashna Gupta | ashna.gupta@yale.edu