- Associated Press - Sunday, June 24, 2018

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - Former Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has resigned from a leadership position with a federal agency, saying the job was a waste of taxpayer money.

In September, Kinder was sworn in as alternative federal co-chairman to the Delta Regional Authority, following an appointment from President Donald Trump. He resigned this month.

Kinder said in a statement to the Southeast Missourian newspaper in Cape Girardeau that upon taking office in September he found a “bloated administrative budget” at the DRA.

“Upon my request, staff brought me over $400,000 in cuts to the administrative budget,” Kinder said. “In my first weeks on the job, I presented these reductions to the board and won unanimous approval of the savings.

“Every dime saved is now going to the poor and distressed communities that need help - the DRA’s very reason for being,” Kinder said.

Christopher Caldwell of Little Rock, Arkansas, won Senate confirmation as federal co-chairman to lead the agency.

“It is confusing,” Kinder said of the agency having two top leadership positions.

When Kinder first joined the agency, it had 18 employees. Now, it has about 13.

“I believe further savings can be found, starting with my position,” he said.

Kinder, a Republican, was elected lieutenant governor in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2016.

Kinder said he has no plans to run for office again. He said he will take a private-sector job and remain in Cape Girardeau. He did not disclose the job he is taking.

The Delta Regional Authority was created by Congress in 2000. It seeks to boost economic development in the eight-state, Mississippi River Valley region. The area includes Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri.

“I felt like this agency, which was called into being to address those needs, should not have a bloated administrative budget,” Kinder said.

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Information from: Southeast Missourian, http://www.semissourian.com

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