Andy Beshear Announces Final Cabinet Secretary Appointments

FRANKFORT, Ky – With just a few hours to go until he officially becomes governor Andy Beshear announced more cabinet appointments.

Governor-Elect Andy Beshear announced the 10 remaining cabinet positions Monday. Beshear’s remaining cabinet appointments were a mix of old and new names.

A name that many are familiar with is Larry Roberts who will return to his position as Labor Cabinet Secretary,  he served under the Steve Beshear Administration in the same role from April 2013 until December 2015.

Beshear was recently at odds with Bevin Administration Labor Secretary David Dickerson over an investigation into the teachers who called in sick to protest at the state capitol during the 2019 session, Beshear says it’s important to have a secretary that follows the law.

“What was important to me was to find someone who would follow the law, who believes in work place safety and is truly committed to the mission,” Beshear said.

“I will spend my time in the administration trying to make sure that workers have a safe place, a healthy place to work, a place where they are treated with dignity and respect,” Larry Roberts said.

Roberts has been working in state government since 1973.

Beshear also appointed Eric Friedlander as the Acting Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, once a secretary is appointed Friedlander will serve as Deputy Secretary.

After years of talks of adding work requirements to Medicaid Expansion recipients Friedlander will be taking a different approach when it comes to Medicaid.

“I think we need to build on the success that we had in expanding Medicaid, I think we need to build on the success of having more people insured and try to back away from that,” Friedlander said. “I think if we are able to do that we can see, and we actually have seen some improvements in Kentucky health, and I think that’s what we need to focus on.”

Friedlander led and managed the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and transformation of Kentucky’s health care delivery system.

Another position that is being filled on a temporary basis is the Secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development. Larry Hayes, who previously served as secretary of the cabinet, will serve as the interim secretary until a search firm is able to place a new secretary.

Former Supreme Court Justice Mary Noble will head the Justice Cabinet. Justice Mary Noble retired from the court in 2016.

Former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky Kerry Harvey will serve as Secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet. Harvey served as U.S. Attorney from 2010 to 2017.

Gerina Whethers will lead the Personnel Cabinet as Secretary. Whethers has worked in state government for 16 years most recently serving as executive director for the Office of Attorney General’s Senior Protection and Mediation.

The Energy and Environment Cabinet will be led by Rebecca Goodman. She is currently serving as executive director of the Attorney General’s Office of Rate Intervention.

Ruth Day will serve as Commonwealth Office of Technology Commissioner. Day is the executive vice president of administrative services for Landstar Systems Inc. Beshear says she will not be receiving the $375,000 salary that her predecessor Charles Grindle is currently receiving.

LaShana Harris will take over as the commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice. She currently serves as Assistant Director and PREA Compliance Officer within the department.

Jonathan Smith will serve as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Beshear. Smith most recently served as deputy campaign manager for the Beshear/Coleman campaign before that he served as legislative director in the Attorney General’s Office.