Former state representative Brian P. Golden will serve as acting director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, staffers were alerted on Wednesday afternoon in a surprise announcement e-mailed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s new administration.
Golden represented Allston-Brighton in the Massachusetts House from 1999 to 2005, overlapping with Walsh’s time in the House. Since 2010, he has served as the BRA’s executive director and secretary, a post that would allow him to step in and sign documents whenever the director was unavailable.
Still, the news surprised staffers waiting for announcements of appointments to key posts in the new Walsh administration.
“Good day! The purpose of this e-mail is to notify you that, until further notice, Brian P. Golden, the current executive director/secretary for the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the clerk of the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation of Boston, is the acting director for both,” the message from general counsel Kevin J. Morrison said.
“You are requested to cooperate to the fullest extent during this transition period,” the message, which was obtained by the Globe, continued.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority released a statement confirming Golden’s appointment. Walsh’s press secretary, Kate Norton, could not say how long Golden will serve, but she said the new mayor still intends to appoint an interim director.
Golden also apparently no longer lives in Boston, and would not satisfy the residency requirement required of many city workers. He is listed by the City of Newton as owning a home there.
Golden is in the Army Reserves and has served in Iraq, Bosnia, and at the Pentagon.
Politically, he is known for alienating members of his party by endorsing George W. Bush for president in 2000. He later accepted several appointments by Republicans. Governor Mitt Romney named him a commissioner of the Department of Telecommunications and Energy and he served as a regional director of theDepartment of Health and Human Services in the Bush administration.
Wednesday’s e-mail was viewed by some as a slight to the BRA’s chief of staff, James M. Tierney, an ally of former mayor Thomas M. Menino’s top political aide and chief of policy and planning, Michael Kineavy. Two people involved in the situation told the Globe that the appointment was ordered by the new mayor’s director of policy and planning, Joe Rull, once a Kineavy ally himself.
Peter Meade, the last director of the BRA, said he would retire at the end of Menino’s term.