Gov. Tony Evers announced today that Veterans Affairs Secretary Mary Kolar will retire, effective Monday.

Kolar, a former Dane County supervisor, was among Evers’ first cabinet picks after he won election in 2018. Prior to her appointment, she worked with the Dane County Veterans Service Office and was vice president of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Kolar joined the U.S. Navy in 1980 and served on active duty for 28 years.

“Mary has been with us since Day One and has always been a fierce advocate for Wisconsin’s more than 300,000 veterans,” Evers said.

Kolar is the third member of Evers’ cabinet to announce plans to step down since the guv won reelection in November. Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole resigned in November and was replaced by Adam Payne, the administrator for Sheboygan County. Meanwhile, Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake announced earlier this month her resignation, effective Monday.

Kolar leaves as the state’s Veterans Home in King has faced staffing shortages and continued complaints about the treatment of residents. Both issues have plagued the facility under previous administrations, too.

She also co-chaired the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Veteran Opportunity to propose solutions for various issues facing veterans.

See the release.

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