INDOT commissioner resigns without explanation

Karl Browning resigned his post Wednesday as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation through an e-mail to the governor.

Gov. Mike Pence immediately named Brandye Hendrickson—who previously led the agency in an interim role—to succeed him.

The governor’s office would not say whether Browning’s departure had been anticipated or whether he’d been ask to leave.

“We don’t discuss personnel matters,” press secretary Kara Brooks said.

And Browning’s resignation email offered no clues.

“While I am proud for the accomplishments I’ve been able to achieve in state government and am sincerely grateful to you for the opportunity to serve your administration, it is time for me to move on," the e-mail said. "Effectively immediately I resign my appointment as Commissioner of the Department of Transportation. Highest regards, Karl B. Browning.”

Pence appointed Browning to serve as commissioner in 2013—the second time he held the position. He also headed up INDOT from 2006 to 2009. In 2011, then-Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Browning to be executive director of the Hoosier Lottery.

Hendrickson has served as the deputy commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation since 2007, overseeing the agency’s Greenfield District Operations. In 2013, Pence named Hendrickson interim commissioner at INDOT, a role she held for seven weeks.

“I appreciate the opportunity to continue my service to Hoosiers as head of the Indiana Department of Transportation,” she said in a statement, “I look forward to contributing further to the accomplishments of the Pence administration.”

Hendrickson also served as deputy commissioner for human resources within INDOT and was the human resources director for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for more than six years.

“With more than a decade of executive experience in state government, Brandye Hendrickson has demonstrated a commitment to public service and a nearly unmatched depth of understanding of the Indiana Department of Transportation,” Pence said in a written statement. “I am confident that she will uphold the agency’s mission and serve Hoosiers well as commissioner.”

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