The Resource Agency history
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- In 1970, the Governor's Management Commission Study recommended the creation of six "Deputy Governors" to assist the Chief Executive in his managerial duties. Compatible functions of government were grouped under these administrative heads, who would serve as the Governors top management team or "secretariats," as they are called now.
- Governor Linwood Holton's top priority for the 1972 session of the General Assembly was a proposal for a Governor's Cabinet, reorganizing state agencies into six major departments--each headed by a secretary appointed by the governor. Transportation and public safety was one of these six departments. The office of Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety was created on April 8, 1972, by an act passed by the General Assembly. Governor Holton appointed Wayne A. Whitham, a member of the Winchester City Council, as the first Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety. When Whitham took office on July 1, 1972, he was responsible for State Highway Commission, Divsion of Motor Vehicles, Department of State Police, Highway Safety Division, Office of Emergency Services, Department of Military Affairs,Virginia State Crime Commission and the Law Enforcement Officers Training Standards Commission. The Office has undergone a series of administrative reorganizations since. On April 12, 1976, the Legislature established separate secretariats for transportation and for public safety, effective July 1, 1976. On July 1, 1984, the offices were again combined. Most recently, the Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety was divided into separate secretariats on February 22, 1990.
- Wayne A. Whitham, the first Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety, was reappointed by Governor-elect Miles E. Godwin, Jr., in December 1973. On June 10, 1976, Governor Godwin appointed H. Selwyn Smith, a former Prince William County commonwealth's attorney (1960-1968) and former state senator (1972-1975), as the first Secretary of Public Safety. Smith was reappointed by Governor-elect John N. Dalton in December 1977. Smith resigned effective July 1, 1980 after he was elected by the General Assembly as a state judge. Dalton named T. Rodman Layman, an Alcoholic Beverage and Contol Board Commissioner (1970-1980), to succeed Smith as Secretary of Public Safety. Layman served until the end of Dalton's term in January 1982. Governor-elect Charles S. Robb, the first Democrat to be elected governor since 1965, did not retain any of Dalton's cabinet secretaries. Robb appointed Franklin E. White, a former criminial justice advisor to President Jimmmy Carter, as Secretary of Public Safety.
- On July 1, 1984, the secretariats of transportation and public safety were combined again. As a result this partial reorganization of state government, Secretary White assumed the duties of the Secretary of Transportation. White resigned in June 1985 to become the New York state commissioner of transportation. He was replaced by Andrew Fogarty, Robb's Secretary of Transportation from 1982-1984, who served until the end of the Robb administration. He later served as Governor Gerald L. Baliles chief of staff from August 1986 to October 1989 when he resigned to become a vice president with CSX Corporation.
- In December 1985, Governor-elect Gerald L. Baliles, picked Vivian E. Watts, a northern Virginia legislator, as Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety. Watts served until the end of Baliles' term in 1990. In 1995 she was elected to her old seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. On February 22, 1990, the Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety was divided into separate secretariats. Governor L. Douglas Wilder appointed Colonel Robert L. Suthard, the Virginia state police superintendent, as the Sectretary of Public Safety. Suthard resigned in December 1991 amid allegations that he violated the state's conflict-of-interest law by taking an expenses-paid trip to Japan and a cash gift in April 1991. In March 1992 Wilder appointed O. Randolph Rollins, a Richmond attorney and Deputy Secretary of Public Safety, as Secretary of Public Safety. Rollins served until the end of Wilder's term in January 1994.
- In December 1993 Governor-elect George Allen, the first Republican elected governor since 1977, appointed Jerry W. Kilgore as Secretary of Public Safety. Kilgore served as an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for Scott County from 1992-1993 and as an Assistant United States Attorney, Western District of Virginia from 1986-1992. Kilgore resigned in December 1996 to seek the Republican nomination for Attorney General. Kilgore lost the nomination to Mark Earley in 1997. He did receive the nomination for Attorney General in 2001 and was elected in a landslide. To replace Kilgore, Governor Allen appointed Patricia L. West, head of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, as Secretary of Public Safety. West served until December 1997 when the nine judges of the Virginia Beach Circuit Court appointed her as judge in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. In December 1997 Governor-elect James S. Gilmore III named Gary Aronhalt as Secretary of Public Safety. Aronhalt was Gilmore's chief assistant when Gilmore was Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney and Attorney General. Aronhalt served until the end of Gilmore's administration in January 2002.
- On December 20, 2001, newly-elected Governor Mark R. Warner appointed John W. Marshall as his Secretary of Public Safety. Prior to taking this position, Marshall had served as a trooper, special agent, training academy instructor, and sergeant with the Virginia State Police. In 1994, President William J. Clinton appointed Marshall to serve as the United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia. In 1999, he was nominated to serve as director of the United States Marshals Service. He was the first African-American to hold this position. Marshall served as Secretary of Public Safety throughout Governor Warner's administration. After Warner left office, Marshall was reappointed by Governor Timothy Kaine.
- The Secretary of Public Safety is a member of the Governor's Cabinet, and is appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. The Secretary is responsible to the governor for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Commonwealth's Attorneys' Services Council, Department of Corrections, Department of Correctional Education, Department of Criminal Justice Services, Department of Emergency Management, Department of Fire Programs, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Military Affairs, the Virginia Parole Board, and the Department of State Police.
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