State Licensing Director Pat Kohler stepping down

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Department of Licensing Director Pat Kohler is stepping down.

Some Latino and community groups have been calling for her removal following revelations in January that the agency was routinely sharing residents’ personal information with immigration-enforcement authorities. But in an April 27 resignation letter announced Thursday, Kohler said the loss of her brother has caused her to reevaluate her priorities.

The Seattle Times reports Kohler did not mention the controversy around the department’s information-sharing practices, which stopped after newspaper reported on them.

In his statement, Inslee didn’t directly address the issue but said it is important that the next director be “fully committed to our ongoing efforts to protect the personal information and data of every Washingtonian.”

Kohler’s resignation takes effect June 30. Inslee’s office says a search for her replacement will begin immediately.