Recreation chief leaving City Hall

Baltimore's recreation chief Bill Tyler is leaving city government to work in Montgomery County, city officials said Friday.

Tyler, who earned $94,000 annually, was in charge of implementing Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's plan to consolidate recreation centers — closing and privatizing some — in an effort to cut costs while better focusing on the recreation centers that would remain open.

Tyler's last day in Baltimore is Feb. 15. He will be the Southern Parks Division Chief of Montgomery Parks, officials said.

He was not available for comment Friday.

Tyler's departure comes less than two months after Rawlings-Blake hired a new director for the city agency. Ernest W. Burkeen Jr., 64 — who previously ran recreation and parks departments in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Detroit — took over the department on Dec. 17.

Last month, Baltimore's Department of Recreation and Parks turned over a year of its financial books to city auditors. City Councilman Carl Stokes has been calling for a financial audit of the department for years, saying it is one of several city agencies that haven't had a complete audit in decades.

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