- Associated Press - Friday, July 7, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has announced a shake-up of her cabinet and staff as she continues to replace her predecessor’s appointees.

The governor’s office, which announced staffing moves Thursday, has dismissed several more cabinet members and staff members. Ivey named Lynn Beshear as commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health, replacing Jim Perdue.

Governors typically name their own cabinet and staff after winning election, although sometimes there are holdovers for the sake of continuity. Ivey became governor in April after then-Gov. Robert Bentley resigned amid an impeachment push and a state investigation in the fallout of an alleged affair with a staffer.

“I am thankful for the staff members who stayed on to help us make it through this quick transition,” Ivey said in a statement.

Her office said she accepted the resignations of Joanne Hale, acting secretary of the office of information technology; and Neal Morrison, commissioner of senior services. Ivey’s office also indicated that Emergency Management Director Art Faulkner will retire Sept. 5. Faulkner’s departure will come during hurricane season.

Ivey’s office said replacements have been identified and will be announced soon.

Ivey is also replacing multiple staff members, including the director of appointments and scheduling director. Daniel Sparkman has been promoted to press secretary, replacing Eileen Jones. Jones, a longtime political reporter for WSFA-TV, was one of the first appointments named by Ivey when she took office.

“I am also especially thankful to Eileen Jones for her willingness to join my administration early on to help us get our feet on the ground and off to an effective start; I wish her well in her future endeavors,” Ivey said.

Ivey has not announced whether she will run for a full term as governor in 2018.

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