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Governor Patton Appoints Justice, Public Protection Secretaries

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Governor Paul Patton today appointed Insurance Commissioner Janie Miller as the new Public Protection Cabinet Secretary and Kentucky State Police Commissioner Ishmon Burks as the new Justice Cabinet Secretary. Miller and Burks will remain commissioners of their respective agencies while serving as cabinet secretaries.

"The main strength of these two outstanding leaders is their visionary plans that have advanced Insurance and KSP during their tenure," Patton said. "These are two key cabinet positions, and we have promoted the right individuals to oversee the programs and agencies of Public Protection and Justice that are so important to the citizens of Kentucky."

The two vacancies result from the resignation of Public Protection Secretary Ron McCloud and the death of Justice Cabinet Secretary Robert F. Stephens.

The Public Protection Cabinet consists of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Department of Charitable Gaming, the Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals, the Kentucky Racing Commission, the Public Service Commission, the Department of Financial Institutions, the Board of Claims, the Crime Victims Compensation Board, the Department of Public Advocacy, the Petroleum Storage Tank Environmental Assurance Fund, the Department of Mines and Minerals, the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction, and the Department of Insurance.

Gov. Patton appointed Miller commissioner of Department of Insurance in January 2001, and she previously served as Deputy Commissioner of Health Insurance. Miller was instrumental in developing Kentucky Access, a health insurance pool focused on providing more affordable insurance to Kentuckians with high-cost medical conditions who must buy their own insurance. She also oversaw the implementation of all health-related patient protections from the 1998 and 2000 legislative sessions, including external appeals rights and patient access to adequate provider networks. Miller has a bachelor's degree from Eastern Kentucky University.

"Janie Miller has a wealth of knowledge that will serve Public Protection and the many agencies within that cabinet," Patton said. "Her success in dealing with the difficult responsibility of protecting the public through regulation of Kentucky's insurance market is a true sign of her leadership ability and her commitment to the citizens of the Commonwealth."

The Justice Cabinet consists of the Department of Corrections, the Department of Criminal Justice Training, the Kentucky State Police, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Medical Examiners Office, the Kentucky Criminal Justice Council and the Parole Board.

Burks became the first African-American commissioner of the state's premiere law enforcement agency when he was appointed Aug. 22, 2000.

Burks, a native Kentuckian, is a retired colonel in the United States Army. He holds degrees in education and criminology, and his distinguished military and civic accomplishments include serving as acting inspector general for military police units in Europe, commanding a 900-member military police force in seven European communities, and heading up military police assignments worldwide. He was also Battalion Commander for the military police training school at Ft. McClellan, as well as being selected for the Criminal Investigation Brigade command.

"Ishmon's military background gives him the solid base he needs to work within a large organization that must stay focused on each and every employee," Patton said. "And his positive outlook on state government and this administration assures us that we're promoting the best man for the job."

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