Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. CEO Mark Hogan will step down later this summer, according to his spokesman.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said during the campaign he wanted to dissolve WEDC and move its functions to a fully public agency like the former state Department of Commerce. But Republican lawmakers passed a law during December’s lame-duck legislative session preventing Evers from appointing Hogan’s replacement before Sept. 1.
Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said Hogan has informed Evers of his impending departure. She also said Evers has not begun searching for a replacement.
Hogan declined an interview request Tuesday through WEDC spokesman David Callender.
Callender was unable to comment on Hogan’s plans, such as another job or retirement. He said Hogan has not set a specific departure date, but that his plan last fall had been to step down sometime in the fall of this year no matter who won the governor’s race this past November.
“I would just say that my timeline with Gov. Walker (had he been re-elected) was this fall,” Hogan told the Milwaukee Business Journal, which first reported the news. “And I think Gov. Evers has known that’s my timeline and that’s always been my timeline.”
Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker appointed Hogan, a retired banking executive and longtime political supporter, to take the helm of the troubled jobs agency in September 2015.
Walker and the Republican-run Legislature abolished the state Commerce Department and replaced it with WEDC in 2011. The public-private agency dispenses more than $3.1 billion a year in tax credits, grants, loans and bonds, but since its inception has struggled to adequately track job creation and incentives.
WEDC negotiated the state’s deal with Foxconn Technology Group. The Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer could receive more than $4 billion in state and local tax credits if it invests $10 billion and creates 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin over 15 years.
The agency has also been the subject of a series of unflattering legislative audits, the most recent of which found only about 35% of required jobs had been created by recipients of 68 tax credit and loan awards through the fiscal year that ended in June 2018.
State Journal reporter Riley Vetterkind contributed to this report.