Ridge may leave Homeland Security Department

| Friday, July 30, 2004

The Associated Press has reported that Tom Ridge, secretary of Homeland Security, may step down after the November election.

Citing unnamed senior officials in Ridge’s department, The AP reported that the secretary is “worn out” from creating the massive department, and needs to earn a higher income to pay for his children’s college.

The department was created after passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. It is made up of various agencies charged with security within U.S. borders, all of which were previously part of other government departments. The concept was to provide better coordination and help prevent another terrorist attack like that of Sept. 11, 2001. The creation of the department was the largest reorganization of government since the creation of the Department of Defense.

Ridge was named head of the Office of Homeland Security in October 2001, reporting directly to President Bush, until the creation of the department in January of 2003. He has headed the department, supervising its more than 180,000 employees, since that time.

Previously, Ridge served from 1995 to 2001 as the governor of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Michele, have two children, Lesley and Tommy.

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