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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Steve Beshear's Labor Secretary J. R. Gray Calls It Quits.

Labor Secretary to retire

By Beth Musgrave

FRANKFORT — Kentucky Secretary of Labor J.R. Gray has decided to step down as head of the state’s labor cabinet. Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed Labor Deputy Secretary Mark Brown as acting secretary of the cabinet starting Dec. 1. Brown is a former state representative and a member of a plumbers and pipe fitters union.

Gray, who also served in the state House of Representatives, was the first person to head the agency after Beshear decided to restore the agency to cabinet-level status. Gray’s retirement is effective Nov. 30.

Gray, Beshear’s first labor secretary, was appointed to the job in December 2007. Gray makes $137,865 a year, according to state records.

Gray, in a written statement, said he wanted to return to Benton, Ky., to spend more time with his family. Gray served 26 years in the state legislature and has also served in various leadership capacities in organized labor.

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