Head of Department of Parks and Recreation announces retirement

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A Fallbrook man who took over the then-troubled state Department of Parks and Recreation near the end of 2012 announced Wednesday he will retire at the end of next month.

Anthony Jackson, a retired Marine major general, said his tenure was “challenging, but ultimately fulfilling.”

He was appointed to the job by Gov. Jerry Brown after his predecessor resigned, following revelations that the department withheld $54 million even as the state was planning to cut its budget by closing 70 parks.

A statement issued by the department credits Jackson with addressing deferred maintenance at park facilities, rebuilding employee morale and developing a long-term plan for the park system.

“I sincerely appreciate General Jackson’s service to California and the Department of Parks and Recreation,” said Natural Resources Secretary John Laird. “He came to the department during its darkest hour, bringing stability and consistency. After almost 40 years of public service, he has more than earned the right to retire to private life.”

Jackson will step down June 30, according to the department.

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