O’Malley aide Rick Abbruzzese leaving administration for lobbying corps

Rick Abbruzzese, one of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s most trusted aides since his days as mayor of Baltimore, is leaving the administration for an Annapolis law firm.

Abbruzzese will be joining Rifkin, Livingston, Levitan & Silver, where he anticipates doing a combination of legal, lobbying and media relations work.

A former communications director for O’Malley (D), Abbruzzese has more recently carried the title of director of public affairs. He has a broad portfolio that has included helping coordinate O’Malley’s growing presence on the national political stage.

“For almost 10 years, I have relied on Rick’s guidance and advice,” O’Malley said in a statement. “Rick has been a trusted political adviser and friend to me personally.”

Affable and easy-going, Abbruzzese has remained popular among reporters, as well as other administration and legislative staff.

His departure is the second high-profile staff loss for O’Malley in a month. Joseph C. Bryce, the governor’s chief lobbyist, recently left for another Annapolis lobbying shop, Manis Canning & Associates.

Josh White, who managed O’Malley’s 2006 campaign, also works at the Rifkin firm as a lobbyist.

O’Malley’s second term ends in January 2015. He is unable to serve another term.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.

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