BREAKING: Janet Napolitano to Resign as Secretary of Homeland Security

Daniel Doherty

7/12/2013 10:30:00 AM - Daniel Doherty

UPDATE: Chairman Priebus makes a good point:

UPDATE: Fellow Arizonian John McCain also released a statement:

“Janet Napolitano has served our nation with honor over the last four years as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security – one of the toughest and most thankless jobs in Washington. We have had our share of disagreements during her time as Secretary, but I have never doubted her integrity, work ethic or commitment to our nation’s security. The people of Arizona can be very proud of our former Governor’s service, and I wish her all the best as she assumes leadership of the nation’s largest public university system.”

UPDATE: This isn't happening until September.

UPDATE: Katrino Trinko explains that Secretary Napolitano is bound to make roughly three times as much money in her new position:

Janet Napolitano is leaving her position as Secretary of the Department Homeland Security to become president of the University of California system — and she’s likely to make big bucks.

Napolitano’s predecessor, Mark Yudof, made $591,084 a year. (To put that into perspective, attending University of California, Berkeley would cost a California resident a whopping $33,522 a year.)

Napolitano currently makes about $200,000 a year.

UPDATE: Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) just released a blistering statement about Janet Napolitano's tenure (via the Weekly Standard):

"Secretary Napolitano’s tenure at the Department of Homeland Security was defined by a consistent disrespect for the rule of law.

"The resignation of Secretary Napolitano should refocus the attention of Congress on its first task: to ensure that the executive branch faithfully carries out the laws of the land. The most significant obstacle to immigration reform remains President Obama’s selective enforcement of the law. Any selection – interim or permanent – to replace Secretary Napolitano must disavow these aggressive non-enforcement directives or there is very little hope for successful immigration reform.

"Whoever replaces Secretary Napolitano must restore the rule of law, as well as the morale of ICE officers which has plummeted under her tenure."

UPDATE: Here is the president's full statement:

I want to thank Secretary Napolitano for her outstanding work on behalf of the American people over the last four years. At the Department of Homeland Security, Janet’s portfolio has included some of the toughest challenges facing our country. She’s worked around the clock to respond to natural disasters, from the Joplin tornado to Hurricane Sandy, helping Americans recover and rebuild. Since day one, Janet has led my administration’s effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values. And the American people are safer and more secure thanks to Janet’s leadership in protecting our homeland against terrorist attacks. I’ve come to rely on Janet’s judgment and advice, but I’ve also come to value her friendship. And as she begins a new chapter in a remarkable career of public service, I wish her the best of luck.

UPDATE: President Obama weighs in:

Government sources are saying that former Arizona governor and current Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is resigning her post to serve as the president of the University of California:

In a surprise move, Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Homeland Security Department, is reportedly resigning on Friday.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Napolitano will become the new president of the University of California—the first woman to do so in its 145 year history. Napolitano has been at the Department of Homeland Security since President Obama took office in 2009. Napolitano was often mentioned as a favorite candidate to succeed Eric Holder. That, in all likelihood, will not be happening now.

A source close to The Times said that "she loves working for President Obama and serving the American people, but at the same time, this is a unique opportunity." Napolitano is a graduate of Santa Clara University, where she was a valedictorian.

While it's not the Department of Homeland Security, which has a budget of $60 billion, the UC system is quite large. UC has an annual budget of $24 billion, and has 191,000 faculty and staff. Homeland Security currently has 240,000 employees. As a cabinet secretary, Napolitano currently earns $200,000 annually. The current UC president earns $591,000—although it's not clear what Napolitano's salary as president will be.

It’s official. Here is the official statement she released (via the Weekly Standard):

“For more than four years I have had the privilege of serving President Obama and his Administration as the Secretary of Homeland Security. The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the frontlines of our nation’s efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career. We have worked together to minimize threats of all kinds to the American public. The Department has improved the safety of travelers; implemented smart steps that make our immigration system more fair and focused while deploying record resources to protect our nation’s borders; worked with states to build resiliency and make our nation’s emergency and disaster response capabilities more robust; and partnered with the private sector to improve our cybersecurity. After four plus years of focusing on these challenges, I will be nominated as the next President of the University of California to play a role in educating our nation’s next generation of leaders. I thank President Obama for the chance to serve our nation during this important chapter in our history, and I know the Department of Homeland Security will continue to perform its important duties with the honor and focus that the American public expects.”