Another top DHS official heads out the door

Frank Libutti, a retired Marine and former deputy police commissioner in New York City, is the latest in a growing list of top executives to leave the Homeland Security Department.

Libutti's departure was announced Dec. 23 by outgoing DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, who will be leaving the department in February 2005. Before joining DHS, Libutti had served as special assistant for homeland security at the Defense Department and later as deputy commissioner for counterterrorism in the New York City Police Department.

In a statement, Ridge said Libutti's "leadership and vision during the department's first years have enabled us to lay the groundwork for a new intelligence unit dedicated to the unique mission of protecting the homeland while also working tirelessly with the private sector to improve the security of our nation's critical infrastructure."

Other top officials resigning from DHS include Suzanne Mencer, executive director of the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness. She will leave her post Jan. 31, 2005.

James Loy, the second in command at DHS, will step down March 1, 2005.

Amit Yoran resigned Sept. 30 after serving as director of DHS' National Cyber Security Division for one year, saying he had accomplished his goals for the job. Others said Yoran had become frustrated with a perceived lack of authority and his inability to effect change.

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