CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP & WSAZ) - A member of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's Cabinet has resigned.
Robert Ferguson stepped down as secretary of the Department of Administration on Wednesday.
Ferguson told The Associated Press that recent press coverage critical of his advocacy on behalf of fellow veterans helped prompt his decision.
A retired Marine officer, Ferguson has frequently weighed in on which military deployments should count toward a public employee's retirement benefits. The department's component agencies include the state retirement board.
"Over the past seven years, Robert Ferguson has managed the demands of the department and guided its agencies on multiple projects that advanced the state, including the recent OPEB solution. As he departs for the next chapter of his career, I thank Rob for his ongoing commitment to the state of West Virginia," said Tomblin in a statement.
Then-Gov. Joe Manchin appointed Ferguson to the post in January 2005. Ferguson on Wednesday called his tenure his life's greatest honor next to his military service.
Tomblin praised Ferguson's oversight over the department in a statement Wednesday. Department official Ross Taylor is expected to serve as acting secretary.