Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Personnel Cabinet Secretary Erwin Roberts Resigns

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, May 03, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

Roberts to return to the legal community in his home town of Louisville

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Personnel Cabinet Secretary Erwin Roberts today announced his resignation, effective Friday, June 16th. A replacement has not been named.

In his letter to Governor Fletcher, Roberts cited current family commitments and his desire to return to the legal community as reasons for his resignation. A former federal and state prosecutor before joining the Fletcher administration, Roberts has four children under the age of five, including 7-month-old twins. Roberts will join the law firm of Frost Brown Todd as Of Counsel in the Litigation Department, based in the firm’s Louisville office.

“Erwin Roberts is a modern-day model of how a person should live their life to be successful not only as a professional, but as an individual,” Governor Fletcher said. “There is tremendous potential awaiting Secretary Roberts. He has spent years serving his commonwealth admirably and unselfishly.  I know we will continue to see him do great things in the future.”

Roberts joined the Fletcher administration two years ago as the Director of Homeland Security.  In that position, he worked to establish the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, forming partnerships with federal, state and local first responders to strengthen homeland security in the commonwealth.

Under Roberts’ leadership, a competitive grant process was established to award federal grants to first responders in alignment with homeland security goals. Director Tom Ridge, then Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, described the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security as a model for other states. 

Roberts also played an integral role in addressing communications interoperability for first responders by making interoperable communications a priority for homeland security funding. 

“It has been a tremendous honor to work with Erwin, both in his capacity at the Office of Homeland Security and as secretary of the Personnel Cabinet,” said Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence. “Erwin handled two extremely challenging roles with the utmost professionalism and integrity.  All of us in Governor Fletcher's administration greatly appreciate his talents and public service, and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Under Roberts’ leadership at the Personnel Cabinet, the state employee health insurance program moved to a self-insured model, maintaining a high level of health benefits and low premiums for state employees and teachers. The major undertaking of replacing the state’s more than 20-year-old personnel technology system with a modern system was initiated and remains on schedule.

Working to meet goals set by Governor Fletcher, Roberts worked to help minority employment in state government reach an all-time high. In addition, efficient management of personnel has led to a reduction in the overall number of state workers through attrition, saving the commonwealth millions of dollars without reducing the level of services.

Last summer, Roberts chaired the Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Merit System, which reviewed and recommended changes to the system. Many of the task force recommendations are being implemented to include increased military leave for state employees, criminal background checks and drug testing for employees, affirmative action efforts and other positive changes to make the system more efficient.

“Kentucky is fortunate to have so many fine public servants who work daily to provide vital services,” Roberts said. “It has been an honor to support their efforts as a member of Governor Fletcher’s team.”