Former executive director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, J.D. Strong unexpectly quit his latest state job in the past week—that of director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
“After much prayer, and after more than 31 years of state service, I have deided to step down as Director of the ODWC, effective immediately,” stated Strong in a statement.
He called the decision “bittersweet”, saying he loved every minute of working alongside the people in the department. But Strong offered no insight as to what led to his surprise resignation. Further, the Department is refusing to answer inquiries about the resignation and have referred questions to the Attorney General.
News 9 in Oklahoma City reported its attempt to learn more about Strong’s departure resulted in a a Wildlife Department explanation that the Attorney General has taken the lead in issuing opinions related to the requests.
Strong’s prior state experience included a two-year stint as Secretary of the Environment undeer former Gov. Brad Henry’s administration. He became the Wildlife Department Director in 2016 ater serving six years as the executive director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.
The Oklahoman reported his sudden resignation on Friday and noted that Strong in 2017, only six months into his new job, admitted he was surprised at the politics he found in the Wildlife Department.
“I thought maybe things might not be quite as political at the Department of Wilddlife as they had gotten when we were dealing with water issues, but I have since learned things are mighty political when it comes to wildlife issues just like water issues.”
The eight-member Wildlife Conservation Commission scheduled a special meeting to be held Monday at 7:30 a.m. to name an interim director. The meeting will be at the Wildlife Department’s headquarters in Oklahoma City.