Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich announced on the city’s website Friday afternoon he has nominated Mike Leonard, a former Marine Corps commander, as the city’s chief administrative officer.
The City Council will be asked to confirm the nomination at its Tuesday meeting. If approved, Leonard’s salary will be $105,000 and he will start Oct. 1.
“I’m confident that the majority of the City Council will see that Mike Leonard is highly qualified to help this city move forward,” Gilich said.
Gilich also used the announcement to show his displeasure with the council members who chose not to confirm his first choice of Councilman Paul Tisdale for the job.
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“I want to thank Paul Tisdale for his willingness to offer to serve as CAO without pay,” Gilich said. “I want to thank the three members of the council — George Lawrence, Kenny Glavan and David Fayard — who supported Paul’s nomination. Since we do not have another council member willing to confirm Paul to serve without pay, we must move on to fill the essential job of chief administrative officer.”
Leonard, 68, was a classmate of Gilich — both graduated from Notre Dame High School in Biloxi in 1965. Leonard went on to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1969 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.
He was in the Marine Corps for 28 years. After he served in Vietnam, Leonard was public works director of a major installation, commander of a 2,500-Marine support group and assistant chief of staff for logistics for Marine facilities worldwide.
He retired from the military in 1997 with the rank of colonel and worked in the private sector as general manager of an 1,800-member workforce at the Naval Support Facility at Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory and was director of operations at Kellogg Brown & Root.
In 2006, he became vice president of base services for EMCOR Government Services, managing $120 million in annual contracts and about 1,000 employees. Contracts included NASA and Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
He has a master of engineering administration degree from George Washington University and a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the Naval Academy.