Six months after choosing an ex-inmate and former drug addict with a record for aggravated assault to lead an office devoted to finding jobs for other ex-offenders, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has demoted him, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. During his brief tenure heading the Mayor’s Office for the Reentry of Ex-offenders, Ronald Cuie nearly doubled his staff and overspent his budget to the point where the city has had to cancel a contract with a firm hired to find jobs for ex-inmates. Cuie, 54, was reassigned to another position in the same office, at the same $87,500-a-year salary, but with no supervisory duties.
Articulate and charismatic, Cuie had a record of successful public service before his trouble with the law, having served in senior positions under former Mayors W. Wilson Goode Sr. and Ed Rendell. He had a much darker side as well, one that led to a dramatic fall from grace fueled by addictions to cocaine and alcohol. Cuie was hired with great fanfare last February to run the office, which had a $2.6 million budget and was created in 2005 by former Mayor John F. Street.