Ohio Health Director Leaving Job; Department Lawyer Fills In

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The director of the Ohio Department of Health is leaving that job and will be replaced for now by someone who has previously filled the same role.

State officials say Director Rick Hodges is leaving to pursue unspecified “opportunities” outside of Gov. John Kasich’s (KAY’-siks) administration. Hodges has been director since 2014.

Kasich announced Monday that he’s appointing the department’s chief legal counsel, Lance Himes, to take over as its acting director on March 31. Himes held that position earlier in the administration and has been an attorney with the department for over a decade.