Governor Bill Haslam says he doesn’t expect any more departures from his cabinet, following the resignation of Steve Cates. The General Services commissioner is the fifth person to leave the administration since February.
Speaking to reporters at the Nashville Farmers’ Market, Governor Haslam said the resignations should be kept in perspective. He pointed out that only 5 people in his 32-member cabinet have stepped aside. “That’s really not a lot,” he said “But a handful, several of those folks said, ‘Hey, I’m just coming for two years.” Haslam said everyone else should stay in the cabinet through the end of his term.
Most who have resigned said they wanted to return to the private sector. Children’s Services Commissioner Kate O’Day resigned over mounting problems at that agency. Labor Commissioner Karla Davis quit just before the publication of an audit, which showed her department overpaid millions in jobless benefits. Cates is leaving amid questions over how the state manages its office space.