Mayor Nutter appeared this morning to sign an executive order creating the new position of chief innovation officer and to name Adel Ebeid as the first person to hold that title.

News about the impending appointment broke more than a week ago, and the naming of someone to such a behind-the-scenes position in government usually doesn't generate much media attention.

But, the mayor's reception room was nonetheless packed with television and print reporters this morning, thanks to the breaking news of schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman's imminent departure.

Nothing about her future has been officially announced, and Nutter clearly didn't want to be the first public official to be quoted on the matter.

At the start of his news conference, the mayor made a half-hearted joke about the media's sincere interest in the city's new CIO.

"I'm also aware there are other things percolating in the news media," he said. "Whatever those things may be, I will not be talking about them at this time."

Nutter also blew off Fox 29's Bruce Gordon, who pressed him on Ackerman, then said he had to leave to attend the funeral of his friend, Fire Exceutive Chief Dan Williams, who passed away last week.

Assuming some announcement is forthcoming from the School Reform Commission on the ouster of Ackerman, Nutter will have to answer some questions today. The mayor appoints two members of the SRC and pushed hard this spring for a tax increase to help bail out the school district's budget shortfall. In the process, he made school officials sign a broad agreement to share information with the city.

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