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Top McCrory administration public safety official unexpectedly resigns

By John Frank
jfrank@newsobserver.com
w. ellis boyle
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W. Ellis Boyle

A top public safety official in the McCrory administration unexpectedly announced he is leaving this week.

W. Ellis Boyle, the No. 2 at the state Department of Public Safety, resigned after weeks of talks with agency Secretary Frank Perry.

In a letter to Perry released Friday, Boyle did not give a reason for what prompted his departure, except to say he was “resigning to pursue other professional opportunities.”

Boyle served as the deputy secretary and general counsel. His resignation is effective Monday, the letter states.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work for you and this department,” he wrote in the letter. “However, per our conversation over the past few weeks, I am resigning to pursue other professional opportunities effective April 7.

“You have a great team here at DPS. I wish you and the department the utmost success going forward.”

Boyle, who did not return a call for comment, is the son of Federal District Court Judge Terrence Boyle. He joined the agency as general counsel in February 2013 under former Secretary Kieran Shanahan, who resigned abruptly in July amid questions.

A spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory said he was not involved in Boyle’s departure.

Under Perry, Boyle moved into the post as deputy in September. His prior experience includes time as an assistant US. attorney in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Boyle’s name was mentioned as a possible candidate to fill the remaining term of Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, who resigned at the end of March.

McCrory went outside his administration to appoint Wake County Judge Ned Mangum to fill the district attorney post.

Boyle’s name also has surfaced as a possible Republican candidate for attorney general in 2016, when the current office holder, Democrat Roy Cooper, is expected to challenge McCrory for governor.

In a statement, Perry thanked Boyle for his work. “Ellis Boyle helped this large and very diverse department during a trying and complex time of consolidation,” he said. “His work ethic and legal mind are second to none. Ellis’ efforts on behalf of the department are appreciated and he will be missed.”

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