Released on April 21, 2020 - 12:12pm

Mayor Craig A. Moe is saddened to announce the passing of former Laurel City Administrator Ernest J. Zaccanelli on Saturday, April 18, 2020.

Known to many as “Zac”, he was a Veteran that served in Vietnam and was a Navy Cross recipient. He was first employed by the City in the late 1950’s in the Laurel Police Department. 

From the Laurel Police Department, he joined the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Department, where he advanced through the ranks, and retired at the rank of Chief Assistant from the County Sheriff’s Department in 1994.

Mayor Frank P. Casula appointed Mr. Zaccanelli Laurel’s City Administrator on April 1, 1994.  He held that position until March 22, 2002.

Mr. Zaccanelli oversaw City forces during such critical times as 9/11, the Tornado that hit Laurel in late September of 2001 and assisting in the Mayoral transition, with the passing of Mayor Casula in October of 2001, to Mayor Pro Tem Michael R. Leszcz. Hon. Leszcz was sworn in as Mayor, as provided by the City’s Charter, shortly after Mayor Casula’s passing. 

Councilmember Michael Leszcz said, “I am saddened to hear of Zac’s passing. As a valued member of the City Management Staff, Zac helped the City through a difficult period after Mayor Casula’s passing. He helped me immensely during my tenure as Mayor and provided for an orderly transition into the Administration of Mayor Moe.“

To recognize Mr. Zaccanelli’s service to the City of Laurel, Mayor Moe has ordered the City Flag be flown at half-mast until Monday, April 27, 2020. 

Funeral arrangements will be arranged by Mr. Zaccanelli’s family and will be posted on the City’s web site,, when they become available.

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