Transportation secretary resigns

Ray LaHood will not stay through President Obama's second term.

Ray LaHood

Ray LaHood

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will not stay on for a second term, ending his four-year career with the agency, according to a statement.

In a Jan. 29 e-mail to DOT employees, LaHood announced his resignation plans, saying he had let President Barack Obama know he did not intend to serve another term but would stay until a replacement has been found. LaHood, who was the only Republican left in Obama’s cabinet, praised the workforce and said DOT employees “exemplify the best of public service, and I truly appreciate all that you have done to make America better, to make your communities better, and to make DOT better.”

Prior to his role as secretary, LaHood represented Illinois's 18th congressional district in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2009. He also served on various committees, including the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Appropriations Committee.

In his resignation letter, LaHood outlined some of DOT’s most significant accomplishments, such as improving safety of transit systems, pipelines and highways, and boosting consumer protections with new regulations. He also gave a nod to the employees whose contributions helped make DOT the most improved federal agency in the 2012 “Best Places to Work” rankings published by the Partnership of Public Service.

“Each of these remarkable accomplishments is a tribute your hard work, creativity, commitment to excellence, and most of all, your dedication to our country,” he said. “DOT is fortunate to have such an extraordinary group of public servants.”

Obama thanked LaHood for his years of public service and his friendship. ”I want to thank Secretary LaHood for his dedication, his hard work, and his years of service to the American people – including the outstanding work he’s done over the last four years as secretary of transportation,” Obama said in a statement. “I also want to thank Ray for his friendship.”

LaHood did not reveal what he plans to do next.

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