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Cassidy & Associates Shakes Up Staff

Cassidy & Associates laid off almost 20 percent of its staff Wednesday, the firm’s founder Gerry Cassidy confirmed to Roll Call on Wednesday afternoon.

Former Rep. Marty Russo (D-Ill.), who is considered close with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), is taking a buyout from the firm, though he is not being laid off. Russo had been CEO of Cassidy & Associates.

“Sometimes you need to reduce staff in order to increase staff,” Cassidy said in a phone interview. “We’re trying to build up a war chest to go out and bring in new people.”

On Wednesday, eight of the firm’s 48 lobbyists and four employees that provided administrative support were let go by Cassidy management. The firm had 70 employees before the layoffs.

Cassidy declined to name the departing staffers or give their party affiliations, but he confirmed that those who were not laid off included Chief Operating Officer Gregg Hartley, Executive Vice President Kai Anderson and members of Barry Rhoads’ team from the former Rhoads Group, which recently merged with Cassidy.

The firm, which Cassidy founded in the 1970s, was long the top revenue-earning firm on K Street. But in recent years, it has struggled to stay in the top five of the biggest lobbying firms. For the first half of 2010, Cassidy & Associates ranked No. 6 in Roll Call’s revenue survey of lobby shops.

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