An attorney with the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Commission who announced her resignation this month has agreed to become the agency’s interim director after its current leader resigned Thursday.
Lawyer Mary Robin Casteel’s leave was set to be effective June 16. Casteel will now take on the duties of outgoing Director Bud Roberts, whose resignation is effective June 15.
Casteel, who wrote much of the medical marijuana rules for Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, had submitted her resignation May 19.
Roberts wrote in his letter of resignation Thursday, submitted after a meeting in the governor’s office, that he expected to serve for two years, but stayed on with the “advent of medical marijuana.”
He became the agency’s director in February 2015.
Casteel had planned on entering private practice but rescinded that goal to become the commission’s interim leader, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.
Another lawyer, Milton Lueken, also recently announced his resignation from the commission, citing his age.
Casteel told an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter that she did not have an explanation for why the resignations were clumped together, adding that she was not asked to leave.
Lueken said Roberts was fired, noting that the director packed up his things and left after being told that he would no longer be the commission’s leader.
The governor’s office has denied that Roberts was asked to resign or was fired.
In a statement, Hutchinson wrote that he has a “great deal of respect” for Casteel and is “confident that her knowledge and leadership will serve the agency well during this time of transition.”
Read Saturday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.