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Anna Danegger, the director of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders’ signature outsourcing program, is leaving the city for a job in the private sector, a mayor’s spokeswoman said.

“She oversaw a lot of very complex programs and did a wonderful job,” Rachel Laing said. “We’re sorry to see her go.”

Laing said Danegger was “not responsible” for delays in implementing the outsourcing program, known as managed competition.

The managed competition program, passed by the city’s voters more than 1,000 days ago, allows private businesses to compete with city departments for various services. Not a single city service has undergone the managed competition process, as the program’s been beset by major legal and administrative delays, leaving some people upset.

Danegger, who makes $120,000, has faced questions about her relationship with Virginia-based Grant Thornton, LLP, which has consulted for the city on the program. Danegger left Grant Thornton in December 2006 to come to the city and owed the consultant $10,000 in tuition reimbursement. In April 2007, she requested advice from the San Diego Ethics Commission.

The commission told her: “You may not, during the twelve months subsequent to the last day that you owed money to Grant Thornton, participate in any municipal decisions that are substantially likely to have a material financial effect on your former employer.”

Last summer, a spokesman for the mayor said Danegger didn’t have any contact with Grant Thornton regarding its contract.

Laing said that Danegger was not leaving for anything related to her prior relationship with Grant Thornton and was not asked to resign.

Laing said Thom Harpole, a senior labor relations officer, will be taking over Danegger’s managed competition duties. Her last day is Aug. 28.

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— LIAM DILLON

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