Michael Steintorf becomes Mayor Tommy Carcetti's chief of staff soon after he takes office. Steintorf counsels Carcetti to reject the Governor's plan to force them to expend the political capital they need for Carcetti to later run for governor in exchange for the capital they need to rectify the deficit in the education budget.
Actor Neal Huff joined the starring cast for season five. Steintorf continues to push Carcetti towards his run for Governor and their decision to decline the Governor's funding leaves the city with a difficult budget crisis. Steintorf is concerned that Carcetti needs to pick a suitable successor so that people feel comfortable with him leaving Baltimore for the Governor's chair. Steintorf thinks that Nerese Campbell's links to corruption make her unsuitable and suggests that State's Attorney Rupert Bond might be a preferable alternative. Carcetti and Steintorf's focus on running for Governor brings criticism from Norman Wilson and State Delegate Odell Watkins but Steintorf believes Carcetti's ambitions are typical of the world as a whole. Steintorf is pleased when Carcetti is able to fire Commissioner Ervin Burrell and supports the plan to replace him with Cedric Daniels in time. Carcetti and Steintorf reject State Senator Clay Davis' offer to smooth over the transitions in the police department in exchange for assistance in his corruption case. Steintorf is petulant when Campbell and the politically influential ministers use the situation in the police department to negotiate for political favors but Carcetti grants their demands.
Following the breaking of the homeless serial killer story Steintorf is instrumental in developing homelessness into a key issue for Carcetti's gubernatorial campaign. Steintorf is also involved in dealing with the budget ramifications of shifting resources back to the police department. Steintorf is responsible for pressuring the police department to provide a drop in crime to protect Carcetti from criticism and refuses to honor Carcetti's earlier promises to reform the police department. Once the serial killer is revealed to be fake Steintorf negotiates with William Rawls, Daniels, Bond, and Rhonda Pearlman to ensure that a thorough cover-up is put into effect. Rawls and Pearlman are rewarded for their co-operation with new posts. After the crisis is dealt with Steintorf renews pressure on Daniels to produce a drop in crime and order him to falsify statistics. When Daniels refuses Steintorf approaches Campbell and convinces her that Daniels will remain problematic when she replaces Carcetti as Mayor. Campbell intervenes and forces Daniels to step down and Steintorf receives his required statistics from his replacement, Stanislaus Valchek. At the close of the series Steintorf's machinations ensure that Carcetti becomes Governor.
Tommy Carcetti - Clarence Royce - Clay Davis - Norman Wilson - Tony Gray - Michael Steinorf - Nerese Campbell - Odell Watkins - Marla Daniels - Theresa D'Agostino - Coleman Parker - Damien Levelle Price