Mayor-elect Malik Evans announces choice for deputy mayor, other staff

Local Politics

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayor-elect Malik Evans announced Patrick Cunningham will serve as his deputy mayor and co-lead the administration in the new year.

Cunningham will be taking over for James Smith, who fulfilled the role of Rochester mayor when Lovely Warren resigned on December 1st after accepting the terms of a plea deal. Smith became the city’s first openly gay mayor while overseeing operations at City Hall until Evans is sworn in on January 1, 2022.

As the deputy mayor, Cunningham will be working alongside Evans as the right-hand man to the new administration.

“Patrick has been a trusted advisor during the transition, and he shares my passion for bettering the community,” Evans said. “We have served side by side for many years in several community organizations. His counsel and leadership will be invaluable in my administration.”

Cunningham retired as the Chief Executive Officer at Manning Napier Inc. after working in the finance group for nearly 25 years. In the local community, his involvement includes serving on the boards of the Rochester Area Community Foundation and Wilmot Cancer Institute. Cunningham is a graduate of MIT.

In this second wave of senior staff appointments, Evans also announced Kim Jones as the Acting Director of Finance and Liliana Ruiz as the Director of Special Projects.

The new acting director of finance has held high-level financial positions at companies including: GE Capital, OnBank & Trust Company and Eastman Kodak Company. She currently works as the city’s treasurer.

“I want to thank Kim for stepping up to serve in this role,” Evans said. “She brings broad knowledge and expertise that will be an asset to the administration.”

Ruiz has held various media positions in Hearst Magazines, 2 Strive Media and WDKX-FM. She has also worked in the City Hall, including the Mayor’s Office and the Communications and Special Events office.

Now appointed as the administration’s director of special projects, Ruiz has previously partnered with Evans.

“I have worked with Liliana on numerous projects over the past ten years,” Evans said. “I look forward to her serving in my administration and advancing our goals that will lead to a city that will not just survive but thrive.”

Evans announced an additional 10 members at the start of the year that will serve under his administration.

Evans will succeed Warren, who announced her resignation last month as part of a plea deal that settled a separate set of criminal charges. He ran unopposed in November’s general election and Warren’s tenure ended following her resignation on October 4.

During a previously held conference two weeks ago, Evans mentioned his plans of new appointments include an extensive search for Rochester’s next full time police chief.

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