Cleveland City Hall sits at the intersection of Lakeside Avenue and East Sixth Street.
Cleveland City Council announced Monday that $33 million worth of medical debt held by 16,000 Cleveland residents was canceled by RIP Medical Debt, the national nonprofit that buys patients’ debt from hospitals at a steep discount. Credit: Jeff Haynes / Signal Cleveland

Cleveland city government’s head of human resources is out at City Hall, multiple people told Signal Cleveland. 

Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Patton was a key member of Mayor Justin Bibb’s administration. Bibb named Patton to the cabinet position during the transition in late 2021

As HR director, Patton oversaw the ongoing contract negotiations with the city’s labor unions, including police officers and Teamsters.

Patton brought years of experience to the job. He worked in the administration of Mayor Michael R. White and also served in top human resources positions at the MetroHealth System and Mercy Health in Cincinnati.

Reached for comment, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office said she couldn’t share information on the matter yet. Messages seeking comment were left at a phone number for Patton.

The city on Monday afternoon confirmed Patton’s departure, though it didn’t offer any explanation as to why.

The city’s statement reads in full:

Paul Patton is transitioning out of his role as Chief of Human Resources for the City of Cleveland. Chief Patton has made significant contributions to this administration. We thank him for his service and wish him well in his next chapter. 

Eduardo Romero, who currently serves as Commissioner of Risk Management out of the department of Finance, will serve as our Interim Chief of HR. He will be sworn in and assume the duties of this role tomorrow, March 21, 2023.  

As we begin the search for our HR department’s next leader, we have a significant opportunity for a top to bottom evaluation of best practices and areas for improvement. 

To that end, the city’s law department is collaborating with outside counsel Perez Morris, an Ohio-based, women-owned firm with deep experience in labor and employment law, to assist in the review of our policies and procedures.

Government Reporter (he/him)
Nick joins us from the world of public radio. He has more than a decade experience covering politics and government in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. In 2021, he produced and hosted "After Jackson: Cleveland's Next Mayor," an Ideastream Public Media podcast on the Cleveland mayoral race. He has also covered breaking news, opioid lawsuits and elections nationally for NPR.