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RESIGNATION OF BODRERO MAY SIGNAL OTHER CHANGES

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Gov. Mike Leavitt has not won re-election - yet. But major changes are already in store for a second Leavitt administration.

On Thursday, Leavitt announced at the Governor's Conference on Excellence that Doug Bodrero, director of the Department of Public Safety, had resigned. And other changes are likely."Logically, I think at the turn of an administration, it is time we

evaluate the situation. And there will be changes made," Leavitt said.

Leavitt, Chief of Staff Charlie Johnson and Lt. Gov. Olene Walker will soon be meeting with the heads of all state departments to discuss their departments and possible changes. Some directors will be back and some likely won't.

"My comments (at the conference) were directed at senior management, and I told them that if I am re-elected, I intend to have them view this administration as a train that will only pick up more speed," Leavitt said. "I want them all to evaluate whether or not they had the same level of enthusiasm as when we started the administration because we would be picking up the pace even more."

There were those in attendance who interpreted Leavitt's remarks as an invitation to leave government service if they couldn't elevate their commitment to the ad-ministration, although Leavitt downplayed that aspect.

Leavitt had nothing but praise for Bodrero, saying his resignation "will be a loss to the administration. He has served law enforcement for 28 years and is a seasoned professional whose judgments I have come to trust."

Two terms as a department chief are enough, said Bodrero.

"I had to ask myself if I can keep working at this level over the next four years and really get the job done," he said.

Both Leavitt and Bodrero said there was no pressure to resign. Rather, the former Cache County sheriff was tired of 28 years of being on duty 24 hours a day. "He saw it as a time for him to move into a newer and fresher orbit," Leavitt said.

Bodrero said he's enjoyed his tenure under Leavitt, saying the governor affords his department heads "lots of latitude but holds us to a strict accountability."

He was appointed commissioner by Gov. Norm Bangerter in 1988 after serving as the department's deputy commissioner.

He began his law enforcement career in 1969 as a dispatcher and was later elected Cache County sheriff. He resigned in 1984 after being asked by former Commissioner John T. Nielson to become his deputy commissioner.

Bodrero was one of two Bangerter department heads who was retained after Leavitt's 1992 election victory, along with state corrections director Lane McCotter and planning and budget head Charlie Johnson. Johnson served as planning and budget director under Bangerter and was later appointed as Leavitt's chief of staff.

The commissioner said he hasn't decided what he'll do now but is certain he'll stay in law enforcement.

Local law enforcement leaders had kind words for their colleague.

"I'm a little surprised and a little disappointed," said Salt Lake Police Chief Ruben Ortega, who chairs a committee on Olympic security with Bodrero.

"We've worked great together, and I think he's been a real asset to law enforcement in Utah," Ortega said.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Aaron Kennard said Bodrero told him about his impending retirement Wednesday.

"He's put in 28 years (as a police officer), with the last eight being in the pressure cooker (as public safety's director)," Kennard said. "He feels he's done his duty."

Kennard wasn't surprised by Bodrero's announcement but said he worries a little about who will replace him.

"He's done an excellent job in that position," Kennard said. "He's the consummate professional, in my eyes."

Bodrero became a familiar face to many when he was enlisted as a field commander during the memorable Singer-Swapp siege in Marion in 1988. He was later portrayed in a made-for-TV movie about the 13-day standoff.

Meanwhile, speculation has been running rampant throughout Capitol Hill as to who may or may not be back for a second Leavitt administration. It is widely rumored that Johnson will retire sometime after the election.

Deseret News staff writer Amy Donaldson contributed to this story.