- Associated Press - Friday, August 10, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine’s Republican governor says his health and human services commissioner will step down at the end of this month.

Gov. Paul LePage said Commissioner Ricker Hamilton will retire Aug. 31. The governor said he’ll appoint Office of Family Independence Director Bethany Hamm as acting commissioner.

Hamilton began serving as acting commissioner in May 2017 following the departure of unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate Mary Mayhew. The Senate confirmed Hamilton last October.

LePage thanked Hamilton for over three decades of experience working for adult protective services and aging and disability services.

Hamilton received the 2016 Children’s Advocate Award from the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Hamilton‘s agency has recently struggled with an uptick of child abuse and neglect reports. Part of the uptick is due to the agency’s internal policy changes.

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