KDOT Secretary Mike King resigns

TOPEKA — Mike King, secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, will resign effective July 15, Gov. Sam Brownback announced Wednesday.

King has served as KDOT Secretary since 2012.

“I am grateful for the vision and leadership of Mike King,” Brownback said in a news release. “His experience and construction knowledge have been instrumental in maintaining our nationally recognized highways.”

King said that he would be returning to private business in south-central Kansas.

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve my home state and am proud of the accomplishments by the entire KDOT and KTA team members,” King said in the news release.

King had worked in the construction industry for more than three decades and was owner of a McPherson company when Brownback named him transportation secretary in March 2012.

King has run a department with about 2,500 employees and an annual budget of well over $1 billion. Since 2013, he has also overseen daily operations for the 236-mile Kansas Turnpike.

But also during his tenure, the state has repeatedly diverted highway funds to other parts of state government to balance its budget.

Former state Rep. Richard Carlson will serve as interim secretary until a permanent hire is made. Carlson, who served in the Legislature for 10 years, most recently was the legislative liaison for the Kansas Department of Revenue.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.