In one of two retirement announcements made today, Gov. David Ige announced that Nolan Espinda, Director of the Department of Public Safety, will retire October 1, and is on personal leave right now. This follows the announcement that Dr. Bruce Anderson of State Health Department will also retire, effective September 15.
The Department of Public Safety has been under fire in the last month because of increased cases of COVID-19 within the prisons and among prison staff. The union representing the guards had called for change at the top.
Gov. Ige announced that Maria Cook, the deputy director for administration will be temporarily assigned and has been granted signatory authority while Espinda is on personal leave through September.
The deputy directors for law enforcement and corrections will continue in their capacities to oversee their division operations. Dir. Espinda will be available to provide advice remotely in the interim should the need arise.
Gov. Ige will announce an interim appointment to lead the department in the coming weeks.