OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Jerry Regier, who is considering a race for governor, is resigning Jan. 15 as Gov. Frank Keating's cabinet secretary of health and human services.
The announcement was made by the governor's office after it received a resignation letter Monday from Regier, the administrator of the Construction Industries Board and former acting health commissioner.
Regier, former head of the state juvenile agency, was appointed by Keating to serve as health commissioner after a scandal rocked the Oklahoma Department of Health.
The scandal led to indictments of so-called ``ghost'' employees and a federal bribery conviction of Brent VanMeter, deputy health commissioner. The ``ghost'' employees were accused of being paid for work they did not perform.
Regier referred to his stint at the health agency in his resignation letter.
``You can take pride in the knowledge that the elderly and frail of Oklahoma enjoy greater protections today,'' Regier wrote to Keating.
Three months ago, Regier announced he was forming an exploratory committee that will allow him to raise money to run for the Republican nomination for governor in 2002.