Haslam Finance Chief Emkes To Retire - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Haslam Finance Chief Emkes To Retire

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - State finance chief Mark Emkes is retiring after presiding over three annual spending plans for Republican Governor Bill Haslam's administration.

Emkes, formerly the CEO of Nashville-based tiremaker Bridgestone Americas, will leave at the end of May to spend more time with his wife in her home country of Spain.

He was one of Haslam's highest-profile Cabinet choices following the 2010 election.

As Department of Finance and Administration commissioner, the 60-year-old Emkes has been responsible for budget matters and managing the state's day-to-day finances.

"I am grateful to Mark for the job he's done as the state's chief financial officer during the past two and a half years," Haslam said in a statement.  "We've presented three responsible, thoughtful and strategic budgets, and he has played a significant role in those efforts.

Emkes' retirement comes following Haslam's decision to forgo -- at least for the time being -- $1.4 billion in federal money in the upcoming budget year for Medicaid expansion while pursuing a special arrangement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Emkes will be the third Haslam Cabinet member to leave this year, after Children's Services Commissioner Kate O'Day and Labor Commissioner Karla Davis.

The governor has begun a search for his replacement.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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