Brownlee Out At KS Labor Department

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Governor's office announced a change at the top of the Kansas Department of Labor late Thursday. Secretary Karin Brownlee has left the agency.

A spokesperson for Gov. Sam Brownback said she could not comment on the reason for Brownlee's departure, saying it was a personnel issue.

But Brownlee told The Associated Press that she was asked to leave. Brownlee says her departure is hard to understand but that Caleb Stegall, the governor's chief counsel, told her she was expected to leave.

Brownlee, also a Republican and a former state senator, has served since Brownback took office in January 2011. She said she feels good about her work as secretary.

Retiring State Representative Lana Gordon has been appointed a deputy secretary and will serve as interim secretary until a permanent replacement is named. Gordon represented Topeka's 52nd House District for 12 years, opting not to seek re-election in November.

Gov. Brownback also announced the appointment of Michael Copeland as a deputy secretary.