A top Montgomery County official quietly left her post last month.
Lisa Feldt stepped down from her role as director of the county’s Department of Environmental Protection in early November.
Patrick Lacefield, a spokesman for County Executive Ike Leggett, wrote in an email that she resigned after “a personal decision” by her. He declined to provide additional information; he said the county typically doesn’t discuss personnel decisions.
“It was a very difficult decision but I left for professional and personal reasons,” Feldt said in an email. “I was honored to serve and lead the department for the three years and believe we made a lot of good progress while addressing numerous challenges. It is a great group of people in the department.”
The department dealt with issues that made the news over the past year, such as missed trash and recycling pickups in the Bethesda and Silver Spring areas and a large fire at the county’s trash incinerator that smoldered for nearly two weeks last December.
Feldt had more than 20 years of experience working at the federal Environmental Protection Agency before joining county government. She served as the acting deputy administrator of the federal agency from August 2013 to January 2015 before she signed on to lead the county department, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Feldt was the 24th highest paid employee in the county in 2016. She was paid $217,400 that year, according to county salary statistics.
In a department blog post published shortly after she started working at the county in 2015, Feldt wrote that she took the county position as a way to use her federal experience to handle water, air and solid-waste issues in the county.
“Plus Montgomery County is known at the regional and federal level as a leader in environmental protection and economic growth,” Feldt wrote. “The county is willing to tackle the hard environmental challenges in a well-thought out and efficient way that serves as a model to other jurisdictions. I knew it was something I wanted to be part of.”
Lacefield said the environment department’s deputy director, Patty Bubar, will serve as acting director and the county is not looking for a permanent replacement for Feldt.
The department manages solid waste and water quality protection in the county and has an annual operating budget of about $127 million.