William Bennett plans to submit his resignation Thursday as the nation's first anti-drug chief, administration officials said Wednesday. They said President Bush will announce the action at the White House.
Sources said Bennett feels satisfied that he has put the nation's drug fighting strategy in place and would simply like to move on, although he does not currently have a new job lined up.Bennett, 46, will become the second high-level administration official to resign within two months. Elizabeth Dole announced her resignation as labor secretary on Oct. 24, effective Nov. 23.
Bennett could not be immediately reached for comment.
Administration officials said a successor has not yet been selected, but a search has begun.
Bennett has been head of the Office of National Drug Policy Control since March 1989.
Congress created the office in 1988 to increase the war on drugs. Bennett has maintained in recent months that the country is beginning to make progress, drawing strength from figures showing a decline in illegal drug use.
Drug-related violence, however, has continued to soar, particularly in many inner-city areas that have become battlefields for rival cocaine gangs.
Bennett volunteered for the job as drug director and like his years as Ronald Reagan's education secretary has performed his duties with a blunt-talking, hard-driving manner.