Kieran Shanahan, the secretary of the state Department of Public Safety, is resigning his position effective July 31.
Shanahan is leaving to spend more time on his law firm and to “support his wife in her new capacity as an admiral in the U.S. Navy,” according to a statement Gov. Pat McCrory’s office released Friday morning.
Shanahan, a former federal prosecutor and one-time member of the Raleigh City Council, has been in office since January. He has come under scrutiny for maintaining ties to his Raleigh law firm and the lobbying firm he started with his wife, which raised the question of whether that could pose a conflict of interest with his new position.
McCrory’s statement said he accepted Shanahan’s resignation on Thursday. Numerous inquiries to Shanahan, the Department of Public Safety and the governor’s office on late Thursday night and early Friday were not returned. The written statement was the first confirmation of his departure.
“The department is stronger now than when Kieran started and we appreciate his service,” McCrory said in the statement. “I will continue to value Kieran’s friendship. He has been an important part of the team. I clearly understand his decision and appreciate the priorities he needs to focus on. I would also like to congratulate Tina Shanahan on her recent promotion to Admiral in the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Navy’s gain is North Carolina’s loss. It is a well-deserved promotion and I congratulate her and wish the Shanahan family well.”
“I have been honored to serve the governor and this great state and to have been a part of a great cabinet team,” Shanahan is quoted as saying in the statement. “I am leaving the department stronger than when I took over in January. I am particularly proud of our efforts to start The Center for Safer Schools. And I am also very proud of Tina. She has always strongly supported my career, most recently being very tolerant of the long hours that come with managing DPS, and now it is my turn to support her. I’m so proud to know there is an Admiral in the family.”