Watch CBS News

Mayor's office relinquishes control of Office of Broadband and Digital Equity

CBS News Live
CBS News Baltimore Live

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore City's mayor's office announced Thursday it is restructuring the city's Office of Broadband and Digital Equity, which includes a sudden change in leadership. 

The office is tasked with permanently closing the city's "digital divide," or inequality in internet access, by 2030. 

The digital equity office's function will be transferred from the mayor's office to the city's Office of Information and Technology (BCIT). 

Broadband and Digital Equity Director Jason Hardebeck's departure is effective immediately, the mayor's office said. Kenya Asli, Director of Strategic Initiatives at BCIT, will temporarily assume Hardebeck's position as the city looks to fill the position. 

It is unclear what prompted the sudden change, but Mayor Brandon Scott praised Hardebeck for his work in a statement. 

"Jason stepped in during the pandemic and developed the Broadband and Digital Equity Framework, laying the groundwork for broadband infrastructure investment for the City of Baltimore," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "He drove our decision to allocate $35 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds towards changing the digital landscape here in Baltimore." 

"We are confident that our significant progress will continue through this transition, the mayor continued. "Kenya has played a key role in the city's efforts to close the digital divide that has served as a barrier to economic mobility, wellbeing, and empowerment in our communities for far too long." 

The mayor's office said the move leverages "BCIT's expertise in operating a robust broadband network of over 300 miles of fiber and serving more than 200 city government locations."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.