The head of the Ontario public service is calling it quits.
Steve Orsini, the secretary of the cabinet, announced he will be retiring effective Jan. 31.
Orsini, who has spent 27 years in government, had been in charge of the 68,000-member public service since 2014.
He was instrumental in the selection of Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner as commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.
“I am extremely proud of the … team and our continued efforts to make the Ontario public service a more inclusive, diverse and respectful place,” he said in an internal email Friday night that was obtained by the Star.
“You should all take pride in your commitment to the values of the public service,” the cabinet secretary told his colleagues.
Appointed by former Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne, he was also well-regarded by Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford.
Ford frequently touts Orsini’s skills in public.
“I want to thank Steve Orsini for his service to the people of Ontario and his leadership at the helm of the Ontario public service. For 27 years, Steve worked supporting governments across the political spectrum,” the premier said in a statement.
“I would like to particularly thank him for his counsel as we transitioned to … (office) and his advice and guidance during the first six months of our government.”
Ford has praised Orsini numerous times for easing the transition to Tory governance after almost 15 years of Liberal rule.
The premier has also noted that the public-service boss was on the three-person hiring panel that selected Taverner, 72, to be OPP chief last month.
It is unclear if his retirement is directly related to the controversy swirling around the appointment of the Toronto superintendent, a close Ford family pal.
Sources say the front-runner to be the next secretary of cabinet is Paul Boniferro, the deputy attorney general.
Boniferro, a former Tory political staffer when Mike Harris and Ernie Eves were premier, was appointed to his civil service post by Wynne’s Liberals last year.
Orsini earned $362,287 last year according to government records.
Robert Benzie is the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie
Source : TheStar