The former head of the Pennsylvania Department of State didn’t resign on his own but appears to have been ousted by Gov. Wolf, according to newly released documents. In an email he wrote to the governor on the day of his Oct. 11 resignation, Pedro Cortes indicated he didn’t know why he was being forced from office. “I have done a great deal of soul searching in the last 24 hours,” Cortes wrote. “I remain at a lost [sic] to understand why you would dispense with my services without sharing with me concerns you had about my professional performance or personal life.” “Wished I had that opportunity,” Cortes wrote.
The governor’s office released the email Monday in response to a public records request by the Inquirer and Daily News for documents pertaining to Cortes’ abrupt resignation, information about which the administration has kept tightly controlled. The reasons behind his sudden dismissal have largely been a mystery, one likely to deepen with the release of the email.
Wolf, a Democrat, has refused to address why Cortes resigned or whether he asked him to step down, saying he does not comment on personnel matters. Cortes, 51, a longtime fixture in Harrisburg, has also not spoken publicly or responded to requests for comment.
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