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Cleveland Mayor-elect Justin Bibb announces key cabinet appointments

Mayor-elect Bibb will take the oath of office on Jan. 3.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: Video in the player at the top of this story was originally published on Dec. 14, 2021.

As he prepares to take office early next month, Cleveland Mayor-elect Justin Bibb announced multiple cabinet appointments Wednesday morning.

  • Mark Griffin as the Chief Legal Counsel
  • Sarah Johnson as Chief Communications Officer
  • Paul Patton as Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Ryan Puente as Chief Government Affairs Officer

Each will take the oath of office on Jan. 3. You can read more about all four in their bios below.

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“This is an exciting time for our city and I am very pleased with the team we are building to lead Cleveland,” Mayor-elect Bibb said. “These top-level professionals all have exceptional qualifications, but even more importantly, they share our values of an inclusive, open, modern city hall that puts people first.”

Bibb’s team said these appointments reflect shifts in the current organizational structure within the mayor’s office by “elevating Human Resources to a cabinet-level position, and separating the role of Chief of Communications and Chief of Government Affairs to prioritize cultural change, communications and advocacy at the local, state and federal level, respectively.”

Bibb won the election last month against Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley. He will also be sworn in on Jan. 3, taking charge of the city as Mayor Frank Jackson exits the office after serving four terms.

RELATED: Cleveland Mayor-elect Justin Bibb visits White House for meeting with Biden Administration leaders

Bios below provided by Bibb’s team…


Mark D. Griffin has served as Cuyahoga County’s Inspector General and Chief Ethics Officer since 2015. As County Inspector General, Griffin leads a team of attorneys, auditors, data analysts and former law enforcement officers who are responsible for investigating waste, fraud and abuse in the County.

Griffin also led, managed, and/or oversaw internal investigations of complaints regarding elected officials, employees and board member behavior in violation of the County Ethics Code. Moreover, Griffin initiated and designed a pro-active ethics education program to prevent violations and to train County employees to identify and prevent public fraud. Prior to becoming IG, he practiced law for more than twenty (20) years with a substantial part of his law practice including the investigation of dishonest and fraudulent conduct.

Griffin earned his Masters’ Degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He graduated at the top of his class from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and received his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Sarah Johnson is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with a strong background in economic development, higher education and healthcare.

Prior to joining the Bibb Administration, Sarah led the marketing, communications and media relations strategy for Greater Cleveland Partnership, the nation's largest metropolitan chamber of commerce. Sarah was recently recognized by Crain's Cleveland Business as one of the 20 Notable Marketing Executives of 2021.

Sarah has an MBA with a specialization in healthcare administration from Cleveland State University and Bachelor of Arts degree in speech pathology from Loyola University in Maryland.


Paul N. Patton most recently served as Senior Advisor to the President at The Ohio State University. He also previously served as senior vice chancellor and chief human resources officer at the State University of New York. Before working in New York, he worked for MetroHealth as chief human resources officer and vice president of government affairs, marketing and communications. He also served the City of Cleveland as chief human resources officer and executive assistant to the Mayor.

A Cleveland, Ohio native, Paul earned a master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University (CSU) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Ohio University. He completed the Senior Executive in State and Local Government Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and was a national association of public hospitals fellow.


Ryan Puente managed Mayor-Elect Bibb’s successful campaign, leading a coalition of grassroots and grasstops leaders. Before joining the campaign, Ryan was the Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party which included managing communications, digital, finance, county affairs, compliance, data, field, organizing and staff. As an associate at Burges & Burges Strategists, Puente Worked on public awareness campaigns and strategies including developing a program with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to increase student attendance. He has managed multiple political campaigns and previously interned at The White House and for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown as an intern.

Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio University and a Master’s of Public Administration from George Mason University.