Pedro Ribeiro, chief spokesman for D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, accepts job with Homeland Security

WASHINGTON (AP) - The chief spokesman for District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray is leaving for a job with the federal government.

Pedro Ribeiro's departure was announced in an email to the mayor's cabinet on Tuesday.

Ribeiro was an aggressive defender of the mayor in his three years as communications director. His hiring and that of Chief of Staff Chris Murphy brought stability to the administration after a scandal-plagued first few months.

Gray lost his bid for re-election to D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser in the April Democratic primary. Several key administration officials have departed since then.

Ribeiro's last day will be Aug. 8. He is taking a position at the Department of Homeland Security. His deputy, Doxie McCoy will become communications director.