PHILADELPHIA – Managing Director Brian Abernathy will resign from his role as Mayor Jim Kenney’s second-in-command this September.
His resignation stems from citizens calling for the reform of the city’s police department. Abernathy is the bridge between the mayor and the force. Thus, he became the #BLM protesters’ direct target.
A group of people showed up last month at the Municipal Services Building, where Abernathy’s office is. These people were calling for his resignation. Activists claim that he ordered counterterrorism police to their door after they protested in front of his home. Abernathy experienced this before when Kenney first appointed him in 2018.
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Sources told Billy Penn that Abernathy’s resignation would be announced on an all-staff meeting this Tuesday. The city also confirmed this via a press release confirming personnel change and setting September 4th as his departure date.
Mayor Jim Kenney said, “I thank Brian for his service to the City of Philadelphia. I particularly thank him for his tireless dedication while managing multiple unprecedented rises in the past four months. I will miss his counsel and measured leadership, and I wish him well on all of his future pursuits.”
Despite his accomplishments, Abernathy acknowledged that the current situation requires new leadership. In his statement, Abernathy said, “As Philadelphia shapes its future, our city must face the demons of inequity, poverty, and racism. All voices must be heard. The status quo is no longer acceptable. Progress will not be possible until everyone understands the meaning of Black Lives Matter. To truly tackle these demands, different voices are required at every level of government.”
An anonymous source praised Abernathy’s work ethic. However, the administration does not have confidence in Abernathy to lead police reformation. Kenney denies that Abernathy’s resignation was caused by his work performance in the last months. He said, “This seemed to be the best time for him.”
Abernathy acknowledged his missteps in the early days of the Black Lives Matter. During a City Council budget hearing in early June, he commented, “I was dumbfounded by how out of touch I truly was. And how I had underestimated the anger and rage and frustrations of folks I’m hired to serve.”
It is currently unknown who Kenney will appoint to replace Abernathy.