Breaking: 2/3 of Tim Burgess's Staff to Leave

By Erica C. Barnett June 29, 2009

Two of city council member Tim Burgess's three staff members—former Dwight Pelz campaign manager Nigel Herbig and former City Neighborhood Council officer Peter Aberg—are  leaving Burgess's office. Aberg will be replaced by Rebekah Pape, a onetime Burgess volunteer who worked on the recent youth violence initiative. Pape also lives in the basement of the Queen Anne house owned by Burgess and his wife, Jolene. (Pape was a renter, but Burgess says she no longer pays rent).

Although the rumor at city hall was that Burgess had fired Herbig and Aberg—a rumor that was only bolstered by the fact that he had lined up a replacement for Aberg so quickly—Burgess would not say whether the two had left voluntarily.

"They chose to go on to other things. I'm not going to get into the details," Burgess said. "Nigel wanted to get into more active outreach and ... community organizing and campaigns because that's what he's used to. Being in an office [at city hall], that's not always possible." Herbig has not yet returned a call to his cell phone for comment.

The sudden shakeup is a curious turn of events for the office of someone who's widely seen as one of the power players at the council, and a potential 2013 mayoral contender.

Updates and additional details as they emerge.

UPDATE: Herbig says he decided to leave of his own accord, adding that Burgess' office was "not a good fit" for him.
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