Economic Development director resigns
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Economic Development director resigns

Date: September 14, 2009
By: Emily Coleman
State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - The state official in charge of creating jobs in Missouri resigned on Monday.

The letter of resignation from the director of the Department of Economic Development, Linda Martinez, was submitted and accepted by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon Monday.

Neither Nixon nor Martinez were available to explain why she resigned only eight months after receiving her post.

However, Martinez wrote to Nixon, "I am sorry we have been unable to meet and therefore we have been unable to discuss and reconcile our different views on how to move the state that we both love forward."

Governor's spokesman Scott Holste said he would not comment on Kinder's comments, but he did say the governor met with Martinez Thursday.

When asked why she resigned, Holste said he didn't know.

"The governor certainly appreciates the work that she's done over the past eight months," Holste said. "Missouri is facing an extremely challenging economic development situation."

Martinez was unavailable for comment.

The Economic Development spokesman John Fougere did not respond to multiple phone calls. The department's communications coordinator, Keener Tippin, said he was unaware of a resignation and any comments would have to come from the governor's office.

"I'm simply astounded that the governor refused to meet with a member of his own cabinet," Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said. "... And here we are with blow after blow after blow to Missouri's economy, unemployment rate has inched up close to 10 percent and the governor will not meet with his own economic development director. It's astounding."

Martinez faced a Senate filibuster and more than a month of deliberations before her nomination was confirmed. She faced accusations of aiding illegal immigrants.

She is the first of Nixon's cabinet members to resign.

This comes after a shake-up in the governor's personal staff, including the removal of chief of staff John Watson as the liaison to the Department of Natural Resources and deputy chief of staff Dustin Allison as a liaison.

While the governor's office looks for a new director, Deputy Director Katie Steele Danner will serve as the interim director.

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