The Los Angeles Times reports that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will resign today.
Janet Napolitano, the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, is being named as the next president of the University of California system, in an unusual choice that brings a national-level politician to a position usually held by an academic, the Times has learned. Her appointment also means the 10-campus system will be headed by a woman for the first time in its 145-year history.
Napolitano’s nomination by a committee of UC regents came after a secretive process that insiders said focused on her early as a high-profile, although untraditional, candidate who has led large public agencies and shown a strong interest in improving education.
UC officials believe that her Cabinet experiences –- which include helping to lead responses to hurricanes and tornadoes and overseeing some anti-terrorism measures — will help UC administer its federal energy and nuclear weapons labs and aid its federally funded research in medicine and other areas.
Another back-room deal to grant an incompetent official a golden parachute…?
Napolitano’s tenure at Homeland Security has been marred by scandal and dishonesty. Napolitano infamously declared that the porous U.S.-Mexico border is “as secure as it has ever been,” using bogus statistics to make her case. Democrats and Republicans alike have called for her resignation for years, over issues ranging from border security to terrorism. In 2009, her DHS released a report that depicted conservative political activists and war veterans as potential terrorist threats. In September 2012, a pair of Napolitano’s hand-picked executives at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau resigned amid a sex scandal. Napolitano infamously laughed at Texas Gov. Rick Perry when he requested more help to secure the Texas-Mexico border, and downgraded Islamist terrorism as “man-caused disasters.”
More: If she is indeed resigning, Napolitano’s departure comes when immigration is among the hottest topics in Washington. Her departure would trigger a congressional fight over whomever Obama chooses as her successor. The person Obama nominates is almost guaranteed to have more credibility on border issues than Napolitano, who has been consistently hostile to border state attempts to control the border.