resignations
February 23, 2021

Five members of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) board plan on resigning Wednesday, following last week's power outages amid a brutal winter storm. All five of the members live outside Texas, as does a sixth person who has withdrawn his application to the board, The Texas Tribune reports. 


A nonprofit, ERCOT manages and operates the electricity grid for most of Texas. During last week's deadly storm, millions of Texas went without power, some for several days. In the wake of the mass power outage, ERCOT officials revealed during a press conference that several board members were being harassed by the public after it was reported that they did not live in Texas.

ERCOT, which is overseen by Texas' Public Utility Commission, has a 15-member board. Among those resigning are chairwoman Sally Talberg, vice chairman Peter Cramton, and Raymond Hepper, human resources and governance committee chair. Talberg, a former state utility regulator, lives in Michigan, while Cramton, a professor of economics at the University of Cologne and the University of Maryland, lives in Germany.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said he welcomes the resignations. "The lack of preparedness and transparency at ERCOT is unacceptable," he said. "We will ensure that the disastrous events of last week are never repeated." Catherine Garcia

January 12, 2021

Jason Schmid, a longtime senior Republican aide on the House Armed Services Committee, announced his resignation in a letter obtained by Politico on Tuesday, and he did not mince words.

He criticized some GOP members of the committee — which includes Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), one of the lawmakers to most fervently push President Trump's election conspiracy theories — whom he previously considered "leaders in the defense of the nation," for putting "political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the Republic" by allowing the "poisonous lie" about the presidential election being stolen to gain steam, ultimately leading to the deadly riot at the United States Capitol riot last week.

Failing to halt the false information and prevent the riot, Schmid warned, could put Americans at risk, not only from the "domestic enemies" that stormed the capitol, but also from foreign adversaries who he believes were keeping tabs as the events unfolded. "These self-inflicted wounds are a gift to autocrats who seek a diminished America and are fundamentally inconsistent with the responsibility to provide for the common defense," he wrote. "Foreign intelligence services were likely on the scene and will certainly capitalize on the crisis it has caused — our people will pay a steep price. Congressional enablers of this mob have made future foreign conflict more likely, not less."

Schmid went on to express regret that "some members may no longer have the credibility needed to accomplish" the committee's necessary task of holding the Pentagon accountable for bringing any riot participants who serve in the armed forces to justice. Tim O'Donnell

August 25, 2020

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) announced on Tuesday that he has accepted the resignation of Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson (R), after he "admitted to conduct in the workplace that did not live up to our high expectations."

Clarkson admitted to sending inappropriate text messages to the personal phone of a junior state employee, who was not in his chain of command but did interact with him. ProPublica and the Anchorage Daily News report that Clarkson sent more than 550 text messages to the unnamed woman, inviting her to his home at least 18 times and regularly using the kiss emoji. On March 26, he allegedly told the woman, "Haven't seen you in awhile, so you owe me a number of hugs." A few days later, on April 4, the woman reportedly told Clarkson he needed to respect her boundaries and "please remember this is my personal phone."

In his resignation letter, obtained by NBC News, Clarkson apologized for his "errors in judgment" and said when the woman "eventually expressed her discomfort to me, I immediately respected her wishes and ceased communicating with her by text." He called the messages "'G' rated" and said there is "nothing remotely salacious about the texts. In our texts we exchanged innocent mutual endearments between us in words and emojis." Catherine Garcia

June 16, 2020

Elaine McCusker, a senior Pentagon official who questioned the legality of the Trump administration withholding military aid to Ukraine, is resigning, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Tuesday.

McCusker was appointed acting comptroller last July, and was later nominated to permanently take on the position. In March, the White House decided to withdraw her nomination, after emails were made public showing her concerns over the Ukraine aid. The hold on the aid was what led to President Trump being impeached earlier this year on charges that he abused his power.

In a statement, Esper said McCusker, whose resignation is effective June 26, "worked tirelessly to ensure that our budgeting and audit processes give full value to the taxpayer while meeting the enormous security needs of our nation as well as the men and women who serve it." Catherine Garcia

June 8, 2020

Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport resigned on Monday night after several of the magazine's staffers, contributors, and YouTube personalities objected to a photo showing him in brown face, attempting to look Puerto Rican, on Halloween in 2013.

Rapoport, who became editor in chief in 2010 and has been part of Condé Nast since 2000, announced on Instagram that he is stepping down "to reflect on the work that I need to do as a human being and allow Bon Appétit to get to a better place."

In an Instagram story posted earlier in the day, assistant food editor Sohla El-Waylly called for Rapoport's resignation, and said the Halloween photo is "just a symptom of the systemic racism that runs rampant within Condé Nast as a whole." She also alleged that "only white editors" are paid to appear in videos for Bon Appétit's popular YouTube channel, and demanded that "BIPOC" (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) be "given fair titles, fair salaries, and compensation for video appearances."

Other editors and contributors echoed El-Waylly's sentiments, including Priya Krishna, who called the photo "f--ked up, plain and simple. It erases the work the BIPOC on staff have long been doing, behind the scenes. I plan to do everything in my power to hold the EIC, and systems that hold up actions like this, accountable." Catherine Garcia

June 7, 2020

James Bennet, the editorial page editor at The New York Times, resigned Sunday in response to outrage over an opinion piece written last week by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called on President Trump to invoke the "venerable" Insurrection Act to send the military to U.S. cities so they could "disperse, detain, and ultimately deter lawbreakers."

The essay was published online Wednesday night, and it almost immediately drew ire from readers and Times staffers alike, with many arguing it endangered black employees. An internal review found that the op-ed shouldn't have been published the way it was — the headline "Send in the Troops" was "incendiary and should not have been used," and Cotton made sweeping statements accusing "left-wing radicals like antifa" of infiltrating George Floyd protests, despite scant evidence.

The Times said that "given the life-and-death importance of the topic, the senator's influential position, and the gravity of the steps he advocates, the essay should have undergone the highest level of scrutiny." Bennet, who initially defended the piece by saying how important it is to hear from a variety of voices, revealed on Friday that he did not read it prior to its publication. His deputy, James Dao, has been reassigned, and Pulitzer Prize winner Katie Kingsbury will oversee the opinion pages through November. Catherine Garcia

October 10, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's senior adviser, Michael McKinley, is stepping down, The Washington Post reports.

McKinley is not happy that Pompeo has not publicly supported diplomats who have been mentioned as part of the Ukraine scandal, the Post says. A career diplomat who has served as ambassador to Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, McKinley was not directly involved in Ukraine policy, but as a top aide, he lets Pompeo know the mood inside the State Department.

Like McKinley, many inside the State Department are disheartened by Pompeo not backing up the diplomats, especially Marie Yovanovitch. Now on leave from the State Department and a fellow at Georgetown University, Yovanovitch was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine until May, when she was recalled. She was the target of a right-wing smear campaign, spread by President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and accused of being disloyal to the administration. As part of the impeachment inquiry, she has been summoned to testify before three House committees, and is scheduled to appear on Friday. Catherine Garcia

July 28, 2019

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is leaving his post, effective Aug. 15, President Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Trump thanked Coats for his "great service to our country," and said an acting director will be named soon. He also revealed he plans on nominating Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to replace Coats. First elected to Congress in 2014, Ratcliffe is a Trump loyalist and skeptic of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Coats is a former Republican senator from Indiana, who was often at odds with Trump on important matters like whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will ever give up his nuclear weapons. He also made waves last July during an interview with NBC News' Andrea Mitchell at the Aspen Security Forum; after she announced that the Trump administration had invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington, D.C., he made it clear this was news to him, laughing uncomfortably and saying, "That's gonna be special." This caused an "uproar" at the White House, staffers told The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

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