Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Secretary Wilcher Resigns

LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, which oversees the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, announced her resignation Sept. 7. The resignation is effective Sept. 30.

"It has been an honor to serve as the first secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet and an honor to serve in your administration," Wilcher wrote to Gov. Ernie Fletcher. "As you know, I have served the citizens of the Commonwealth longer than either of us anticipated, but the times and circumstances seemed to dictate that was the better course to follow at the time."

"LaJuana has been unfailing in her efforts to protect Kentucky's workers and the environment while growing our economy," said Gov. Fletcher. "She brought together diverse programs and people, worked tirelessly to help strengthen communities across the state through rational regulation and unbiased enforcement of the laws of the Commonwealth."

Gov. Fletcher announced that Teresa J. Hill, vice chairman of the Kentucky Public Service Commission, has been selected to become the new secretary.

After taking office in 2003, Gov. Fletcher combined the former Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Labor, and Public Protection cabinets to form EPPC. The new cabinet encompassed many of Kentucky's regulatory agencies, including those regulating the environment, coal mining, horse racing, banking, insurance, occupational safety and health, workers' compensation, housing, alcoholic beverage control, charitable gaming, and professional boxing and wrestling.

"I am returning to private law practice and consulting with English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley in Bowling Green," Wilcher said. "I will also be able to devote more time to Scuffle Hill Farm, my farm in Alvaton, a long-time dream. I also plan to return to teaching law school classes and participate more in my church and public interest activities."