Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Director Quits Under Criticism

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AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The embattled director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has resigned after lawmakers sharply criticized her agency taking taxpayer-funded trips to Hawaii and San Diego.

Sherry Cook’s resignation came weeks after the Texas Tribune reported on those trips and the ties between the agency and the beverage industry it regulates.

John Wittman, a spokesman for Gov. Greg Abbott, said Monday that Cook’s departure was necessary “to restore trust in the agency.”

Lawmakers from both parties questioned Cook after the Tribune report, which included a flyer for one conference featuring Cook’s picture with a bottle of Lone Star beer superimposed on her hand.

 “It has been an honor and a pleasure serving the people of Texas for all these years,” said Cook. “I want to thank all of the employees and peace officers at TABC for their hard work, dedication and support. I’m very proud of all they have accomplished keeping Texans safe and regulating a growing industry.”

 “Sherry Cook epitomizes the strength of Texas women, having risen from a single parent working at the Department of Public Safety to the highest ranks of the leadership at TABC,” said TABC Chairman José Cuevas, Jr. “I’d like to congratulate her on her retirement and wish her Godspeed.”

 The three-member Commission will discuss appointing Cook’s successor at their May 23 meeting.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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