Controversial former Secretary of State no longer working for governor as special advisor

Texas Politics
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AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced the departure of his Special Advisor, David Whitley, who was previously appointed and then resigned from his role as Texas Secretary of State.

According to Abbott’s announcement, Whitley served in several roles for the state across 15 years, most recently overseeing several state organizations including the Texas Enterprise Fund, the Texas Film Commission and the Texas Military Preparedness Commission.

Abbott said in a statement, in part:

“David has been an invaluable resource within my office, helping guide and direct many successful initiatives during my time as Attorney General and now as Governor. His dedication to public service and to helping advance Texas is unwavering, and I am confident that David will prove to be instrumental wherever he’s involved.”

Early this year, Whitley sparked controversy when he released a list of 95,000 “non-citizens” who he said voted in the most recent Texas election. It was later discovered, however, that thousands of them were actually U.S. citizens with voting rights after they were naturalized.

At the time, Abbott distanced himself from the incident, saying that he did not start the inaccurate “non-citizen” list, but that Whitley had started it in March 2018. Whitley meanwhile explained that while the list was flawed, he stood by its overall intent.

“Neither the Governor, nor the Governor’s office gave a directive to initiate this process as the emails show,” said Governor Abbott spokesman John Wittman.

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