AUSTIN The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety has announced his retirement, amid mounting criticism over his management style and a fire at the Texas governor's mansion.
In a one sentence statement issued Friday, Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr. said: "After 43 years and 9 months with the Texas Department of Public Safety, I am retiring on Aug. 31, 2008."
Texas news media reports said the retirement comes after mounting criticism over security lapses at the governor's mansion, which burned down in an arson fire last month. The Austin American-Statesman newspaper reported that Davis' departure was rumored for weeks at the Capitol, but repeatedly denied by DPS officials.
A recent legislative audit found that Texas DPS suffered from inefficient management and other problems, the newspaper said. A replacement will be named by the Texas Public Safety Commission.
Davis is the second state agency leader to leave in the aftermath of the raid on the Fundamentalist LDS Church's YFZ Ranch. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Carey Cockerell retired in the face of criticism over the handling of the case, which resulted in hundreds of children being removed from the polygamous sect's ranch and then returned by order of the Texas Supreme Court.
Cockerell denied his retirement had anything to do with the YFZ case.