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UPDATE: KS Labor Secretary Claims Departure Not Resignation, but Removal

brownlee1-590x340Former Kansas Secretary of Labor Karin Brownlee (Photo credit:


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee says she has been removed from her job by Governor Sam Brownback. Brownlee spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday after Brownback's office announced she had stepped down. Brownlee says her departure is hard to understand but that Caleb Stegall, the governor's chief counsel, told her she was expected to leave. The Republican governor's office gave no reason in announcing Brownlee's departure. Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter. Brownlee, also a Republican and a former state senator, has served since Brownback took office in January 2011. She said she feels good about her work as secretary. Brownback named outgoing Kansas House member Lana Gordon as interim labor secretary.

**this is an update to a story first filed last night. The prior version may be found below. 


Kansas Labor Secretary Resigns

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee has stepped down. Thursday's announcement from Brownback's office gave no indication of why Brownlee left the job she held since Brownback took office in January 2011. Brownback also said he has appointed Lana Gordon, a Republican House member from Topeka, to serve as interim labor secretary until the governor names a permanent successor. Gordon has served in the House since 2001 but decided not to seek re-election this year. Brownlee, also a Republican, is a former state senator. The announcement of her departure came just hours after she announced the appointment of Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland as deputy secretary starting in October to replace retiring Deputy Secretary Kathy Sparks.

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