Commentary

Was Tata’s past the reason for his swift departure?

Anthony TataSunday’s big story in Raleigh’s News & Observer about former state Transportation Secretary Tony Tata and his personal troubles while serving in the military — which included being found to have committed adultery more than once in violation of military law and the discovery of a phony/forged court document filed on his behalf that was never explained  — came to public light less than two months after the former general’s sudden departure from state government.

What was unclear from the story was whether the uncovering of Tata’s troubled past had anything to do with his sudden departure. Usually, when a cabinet-level secretary departs his or her job, there’s more than one day’s notice. As noted here back in July, however:

“Yesterday’s sudden resignation was par for the course with Tata. Rather than announcing a plan for resignation and transition to new leadership of the massive department, he made the event all about himself by simply up and quitting in one day without, apparently, even saying good bye.”
Now, knowing what we know, it seems just as likely that Tata’s sudden resignation was brought about by either his (or the McCrory administration’s) dawning awareness that the story of his past was about to blow. The Governor ought to come completely clean with the public and let us know what was really going on and when.

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