WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Many senior officials in the Department of Homeland Security are resigning in the wake of the departure of their boss, Tom Ridge.
The retirement of Deputy Secretary James Loy was confirmed by department officials Monday, and C. Suzanne Mencer, the former FBI official who headed the department's liaison with state and local government, announced her decision last week.
In his statement confirming the departure of Loy, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge praised Loy's more than 40 years of dedicated service "to the protection of our country and its citizens."
"His vision and commitment... during the department's early years will have a lasting effect for years to come," said Ridge.
Mencer said she was quitting to spend time with her family in Colorado.
"The loss of two key leaders in rapid succession has to be worrisome and replacements of their caliber will be hard to find," said House Select Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif.
Several other senior officials are also ready to leave -- including Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Robert Liscouski, and his boss, Undersecretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Frank Libutti -- according to former colleagues and private sector executives with senior level contacts in the department.