by Billy Ball
Earlier this year, it was rumored that N.C. Department of Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker was leaving. On Tuesday, Gov. Pat McCrory confirmed it, announcing that Decker would leave effective Dec. 31. Her replacement will be oft-criticized Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary John Skvarla.
Decker, a former Duke Energy employee appointed by McCrory last January, is reportedly leaving to accept a job with media company Nuray Pictures. The governor credited Decker with helping to lower the state's unemployment rate.
Skvarla, meanwhile, took over at DENR when McCrory assumed office last year, helping to direct a more business-friendly department that has drawn accusations of being too lenient to industry. Read about Skvarla's myriad controversies here, here and here.
“John Skvarla has led our environmental department through a very important time," said McCrory. "His leadership, ability to work under high pressure and business-friendly approach is exactly what the Department of Commerce needs as Sharon departs."
The governor said he is currently searching for Skvarla's replacement at DENR.
The Department of Commerce is charged with developing the state's workforce. DENR, meanwhile, regulates industry as it relates to the environment.