Governor Matt Blunt (R-MO) makes a major shake up in his administration. He’s announced Ed Martin is out as Chief of Staff, replaced by Revenue Director Trish Vincent.
In making the announcement, Blunt said he expects the Chief of Staff to work as hard or harder than anybody else in state government, adding Martin exceeded that expectation. But, according to Blunt, Martin wants to pursue new opportunities to serve Missouri and to spend time with his family.
In making the announcement, Blunt sidestepped reporters’ questions as to whether Martin resigned voluntarily or was asked to leave. He spoke, instead, about the work Martin had done in his role as Chief of Staff. When pressed, Blunt did say he and Martin talked about the future of the office and who is the best person to lead the office in a specific set of circumstances.
Asked again whether he had asked for Martin’s resignation, Blunt said, "I don’t know that .. I would answer that ‘No,’ I suppose. I don’t know if that actually ever occurred. We would have had a discussion, though, about the office … also about what he wanted to do in terms of spending time with his wife and family and the fact that this is a very demanding job."
Governor Blunt’s Press Secretary Jessica Robinson later called the Missourinet to clarify that Martin offered his resignation and it was accepted by the Governor.
Martin has been at the center of a firestorm about deleted e-mails on computers in the Governor’s office since admitting e-mail records were routinely deleted. The move has been ciriticized as a violation of Missouri’s Sunshine Law and has led to an escalating situation that has led to appointment of an independent investigative team by Attorney General Jay Nixon and a new position by the Governor, who has told the Office of Administration to put together a policy on permanent retention of e-mails.
Vincent took over her new post at noon today. Martin will assist Vincent during the transition and will remain on the payroll through January 4 th .