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Virginia Politics
Posted at 08:36 AM ET, 05/31/2011

McDonnell-appointed ABC commissioner resigns

Wayne Ozmore has resigned from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, a spokesman for the governor said Tuesday.

Jeff Caldwell, a spokesman for Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) confirmed the departure but declined to release Ozmore’s resignation letter, saying it is considered a personnel document.

“Commissioner Ozmore served the ABC Board well and has decided to move on to explore other opportunities,” Caldwell said.

The three ABC commission jobs are widely considered some of the most plum posts in all of state government. ABC commissioners make roughly $120,000 a year. The jobs are purely political appointments -- meaning they are often rewards for a long service to a party or governor.

Ozmore’s departure leaves chairman Neal Insley and Sandy Canada on the commission.

Insley served as special counsel at LeClair Ryan, where he was in charge of the firm’s hospitality law industry team. Canada served as a fundraiser for McDonnell and other Republicans and was an ABC commissioner for former governor Jim Gilmore (R) from 1998-2002.

Ozmore, who previously served as senior criminal investigator in the attorney general’s office, will become a senior consultant for Bull Moose Strategies. He did not respond to a request for comment.

McDonnell’s proposal to privatize the state’s liquor stores died earlier this year after legislators failed to vote on the proposal.

Caldwell said McDonnell will fill the position. Ozmore leaves June 13.

Update, noon: Ozmore said he was “appreciative and honored to have had the wonderful opportunity to work in the McDonnell administration, and I am equally looking forward to my new endeavors.” He also released his resignation letter.

McDonnell denied on his monthly radio show on WTOP on Monday morning that Ozmore’s resignation had anything to do with privatization, but declined to say why he left.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By  |  08:36 AM ET, 05/31/2011

 
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