Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden is leaving the agency at the end of this month, but not on his own accord. Gov. Mike Parson’s spokeswoman, Kelli Jones, tells Missourinet the governor wants to go in a different direction.

Drew Juden

“The governor has the ability to choose his or her own administration,” she says.

Juden, of southeast Missouri’s Sikeston, took over the top position in 2017 under former Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

“Drew is a well accomplished public servant. We appreciate his time and service to the State of Missouri and wish him well in the future,” Parson says in a press release.

Parson has asked State Patrol Col. Sandra Karsten to serve as Acting Public Safety Director during the transition. The press release says Parson will be working to appoint a new director in the near future.

“Colonel Karsten has a long track record of being a top-notch professional and an exemplary public servant. We are confident in her leadership during this transition,” says Parson.

Karsten will continue to serve as State Highway Patrol superintendent. She is Missouri’s first-ever woman to serve as the leader of the State Highway Patrol.

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