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Days After Nomination, Mayor Biskupski Pulls Pick To Lead Redevelopment Agency

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Salt Lake City officials are pulling their candidate to lead the Redevelopment Agency (RDA), only days after naming him.

Mayor Jackie Biskupski named Marc Woolley as her pick to lead the RDA last week. Woolley is an attorney who worked at the Philadelphia Housing Authority and more recently was an executive at the Hershey Trust Company. 

After media reports surfaced about Woolley being involved in lawsuits and other controversies in his previous positions, the city pulled him from consideration. Councilwoman Lisa Adams is Chair of the RDA. She got to meet with Woolley last week and says she was initially impressed. 

“On the other hand,” Adams says, “I would have liked the chance to talk to him a little bit more. You can certainly be named in a lawsuit—as councilmembers, if someone sues the city, we are often named defendants. I would have liked to know a little bit more what the situation was.”

“We did vet the cases that he was named in” after learning of them, says Lara Fritts, who heads the city’s office of economic development and ultimately made the decision to keep looking.  

Fritts says she and Mayor Biskupski knew about some of Woolley’s past controversies, but not the lawsuits.

“There was no wrongdoing by Mr. Woolley. But ultimately it was the lack of disclosure that gave me discomfort,” she says.

Fritts says the city is going to start from scratch to fill the position. A new job posting has already gone up on the city’s website.

Nicole Nixon holds a Communication degree from the University of Utah. She has worked on and off in the KUER Newsroom since 2013, when she first joined KUER as an intern. Nicole is a Utah native. Besides public radio, she is also passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.
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