Bob Philbin named Harrisburg COO

Harrisburg's former director of communications has been named the city's interim chief operating officer and Mayor Linda Thompson's chief of staff for the remainder of her term.

Reunited with her right-hand man, Thompson introduced Bob Philbin as the new COO Thursday morning.

Philbin spent most of 2012 as Thompson's spokesman, a job he did pro bono. His payroll situation created much turmoil last year between Thompson and City Council until a Commonwealth Court judge ruled the position was imperative to public safety and ruled it should come with a $75,000 salary.

Only one month on the payroll in 2013, Philbin resigned in late January and took a media relations position with Capital Area Transit. He did some work with Thompson's primary campaign.

Philbin said CAT allowed him to take a leave of absence from his post to become the COO until January when Thompson's term expires. Philbin said his past experience working for the city makes him a comfortable fit as COO and chief of staff.

“I would like to finish the many goals and positive policy that (Thompson) set in place,” said Philbin. “I feel committed to that and feel committed to (Receiver) General Lynch and the Act 47 process.”

Philbin will begin his duties on Monday. He will receive an approved annual salary of $110,000, or around $9,000 a month.

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