- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Transportation Secretary Mike King is resigning effective July 15 and says he plans to return to private business.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s office announced King’s departure Wednesday and said former state Rep. Richard Carlson of St. Marys will serve as interim secretary until a permanent replacement is named.

King had worked in the construction industry for more than three decades and was owner of a McPherson company when Brownback named him transportation secretary in March 2012.

King has run a department with about 2,500 employees and an annual budget of well over $1 billion. Since 2013, he’s also overseen daily operations for the 236-mile Kansas Turnpike.

But also during his tenure, the state has repeatedly diverted highway funds to other parts of state government to balance its budget.

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