BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mayor Catherine E. Pugh has accepted the resignation of Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano, effective Jan. 6, according to a Tuesday morning news release from the Mayor’s office.

For nearly a year, there have been demands for Graziano to leave his position.

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The 16-year Baltimore Housing Commissioner came under fire last July, when dozens of women filed a federal lawsuit claiming city maintenance men demanded sex before fixing vital, even life-threatening issues in their apartments.

The settlement cost the city $7 million dollars.

Mayor Pugh made it clear earlier this month that she did not want Graziano in the position, but she also couldn’t directly fire him.

Under the Pugh Administration, Baltimore Housing, which includes the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC), will operate as two distinct entities with separate leadership, the release said.

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Deputy Commissioner Michael Bravermen will serve as Interim Commissioner while a national search is conducted.

“I am very excited to put my vision into action and begin a national search to have the best and the brightest lead our two housing agencies,” said Mayor Pugh.

“Just 10 days into my administration, I am keeping one of my central pledges to the people of Baltimore, to reinvigorate both these agencies with a renewed sense of urgency in meeting the critical housing needs in Baltimore. I am grateful to Michael Bravermen for serving in this interim role,” she added.

Graziano released the following statement Tuesday:

“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Baltimore over the past 16 years. I am proud of the significant progress we have made in preserving and creating affordable housing for our residents and building stronger neighborhoods. I thank all who have contributed to these efforts. Clearly, many challenges remain, which I am confident the Housing Authority of Baltimore City and the Department of Housing & Community Development will continue to address. I wish Mayor Pugh and her administration all the best and will work with her team to ensure a smooth transition.”

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