Fletcher met with Beebe Monday and both agreed that it was time to take leadership of the agency in a new direction.
"Dave Fletcher stepped up five-and-a-half years ago when I asked him to take the helm at Veterans Affairs, and I thank him for his service and his dedication to our men and women in uniform," Governor Beebe said. "However, it's become evident that new leadership will be best positioned to re-examine practices and policies and to determine how best to manage the department's finances."
Beebe plans to name a new director very soon, likely in the next few days.
Fletcher's Resignation Letter:
May 14, 2012
The Honorable Mike Beebe
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Dear Governor Beebe:
I have been contemplating retirement for some time, and in light of recent events, I feel it is best that I take that opportunity now rather than waiting until later this year.
I am proud of what we've accomplished during my five-and-a-half years leading the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs. There is no doubt in my mind that the department will continue our initiatives to help our veterans and our state in the best possible ways.
However, it is clear that there are improvements that must be made to the internal operations of the department, and that mistakes have been made in the administration of both the department and the Little Rock Veterans Home. While I have begun working to address those issues and put stronger policies in place, I recognize that new leadership with a fresh perspective may best improve the department and address its needs.
Please consider this my official notice that I will immediately begin retirement proceedings effective today, May 14, 2012. Even after retirement, I will stand ready to offer any help and assistance to you and the department if requested. Your friendship and dedication to Arkansas's veterans have made this experience a privilege and an honor, and I thank you for allowing me this opportunity to serve.