Memphis CAO Keith McGee to retire - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis CAO Keith McGee to retire

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - City of Memphis Chief Administrative Officer Keith McGee announced his retirement Wednesday in a letter to Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

McGee, a 28-year employee of the city of Memphis, said his last day would be July 4.

The announcement sent shockwaves through Memphis City Hall.  Reached for comment, the mayor said he would be losing an important part of his team.

"He's just been my right arm," Herenton said.

But the mayor had a lot of good things to say about his second in charge.

"Keith is the guy that really directs all of the operating divisions," Herenton said. "He knows city government and I wish him well in his retirement."

In the letter, McGee says being CAO has been "humbling and rewarding."  The letter goes on to say "my pastoral ministry and other consulting interests are calling me."

"I don't think it's the last you're going to hear of Keith McGee," Herenton said. "I think he's going to move his ministry forward.  He'll probably do some consulting, and it wouldn't surprise me if the right opportunity came for him to return to public service."

In addition to his city post, for more than a decade, McGee has served as senior pastor of Saint Mark Missionary Baptist Church in Drummonds, a family church of about 300 members located just north of Millington.

At one point, it was believed the 28-year city employee would step into Herenton's shoes as mayor, when Herenton expressed interest in returning to his position as superintendent.

Now that Herenton is running for congress, some have speculated McGee may work for his campaign.

"I don't know," Herenton said. "I don't know about that."

Because McGee was with the city for nearly 30 years, he will be eligible to collect retirement.

His letter clearly states public service is a future option.

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