FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 2, 2021) – On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced several leadership appointments within his administration.
“I have been blessed to have leaders in my administration who have tremendous talent and breadth of knowledge and experience,” said Gov. Beshear. “The appointments I am announcing today will play to the strengths of these capable professionals and allow us to continue to build that better Kentucky we all want for our families.”
Public Protection Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey is now the head of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.
Prior to joining the Beshear administration as secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet, Harvey served as U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, where he placed special emphasis on financial fraud and public corruption. He served for three years on the attorney general’s Advisory Committee and served as co-chair of the U.S. Attorney’s Health Care Fraud Working Group. He previously served the Commonwealth of Kentucky as general counsel for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as well as its acting inspector general.
“I’m honored that Gov. Beshear has asked me to lead the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet,” Secretary Harvey said. “The cabinet plays a vital role in ensuring that the citizens of our commonwealth live in a society that is both safe and just. I look forward to working with the team at the cabinet in pursuit of these inseparable ideals.”
Keith Jackson, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, will join Harvey as the new deputy secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. A former firefighter, Jackson rose to the rank of chief of the Lexington Fire Department before joining the Beshear administration. He served 27 years in the U.S. Army Reserves, retiring at the rank of lieutenant colonel.
“I would like to thank the staff of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs for their caring nature and ‘can do’ mentality. They are giving and compassionate, both individually and collectively. I am proud to have served the 295,000 veterans of the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Deputy Secretary Jackson. “I look forward to serving the state as the deputy secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and I am excited about the opportunity to have an impact on the vision and mission of the cabinet. I also want to thank Gov. Beshear and his staff for having the trust and confidence in my ability to assist Secretary Harvey.”
Deputy Secretary Ronnie Bastin has announced his retirement. Bastin has been a committed public servant for over 39 years. He began his career with the Kentucky Department of Corrections. He also served in a variety of roles at the Lexington Police Department, including chief of police, and was the commissioner of public safety in Lexington.
“We thank Ronnie for his service to the commonwealth during these extraordinary times,” Gov. Beshear said. “Over his nearly four-decade career, he has been a constant champion for public safety and has worked tirelessly to protect all our families.”
“It’s been a pleasure serving on Team Kentucky for Gov. Beshear and the people of Kentucky,” Bastin said. “The dedicated staff at the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet are among the finest public servants I’ve worked with, and I wish them nothing but the best going forward.”
Ray Perry is now secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet. Perry has served the citizens of the commonwealth in a variety of roles for nearly three decades and most recently served as the deputy secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet. Perry previously served as assistant director of consumer protection and deputy commissioner at the Department of Insurance and as executive director of the Labor Cabinet’s General Administration and Procurement Services.
“I am honored and excited to take on the challenge of leading the Public Protection Cabinet. I thank Gov. Beshear for asking me to serve. As a 17-year employee of the PPC, I can honestly say I love this agency. I am proud of the work our more than 300 employees do to preserve life and protect the commonwealth in countless ways,” said Secretary Perry. “I have big shoes to fill after the leadership of Secretary Kerry Harvey. His institutional knowledge and wisdom have been invaluable to the cabinet and me personally. I wish him the best as Justice and Public Safety Cabinet secretary.”
Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Commissioner Whitney Allen will assume the role of commissioner. Allen is a retired Army lieutenant colonel with 25 years of combined military service. Commissioner Allen has served in various military organizations and military locations, including three combat tours in Afghanistan/Kuwait. His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
“I would like to thank Gov. Beshear for the opportunity to continue to serve our commonwealth’s veterans and their families,” said Commissioner Allen. “I promise to continue the legacy of achievement and improvement in the quality of life for all Kentucky’s veterans established by my mentor and incoming deputy secretary of Justice and Public Safety, the honorable Keith L. Jackson. I am very excited to lead such a great team who are dedicated and passionate in serving our veteran community.”
Amy Cubbage, Beshear’s general counsel, has been appointed to the Public Service Commission and will serve as vice chair. Cubbage has been practicing law for more than 23 years with an emphasis on state and federal constitutional law. Prior to becoming the Governor’s general counsel, Cubbage served as general counsel and executive director of legal services and then as deputy secretary of the Labor Cabinet.
“I appreciate the opportunity to serve the commonwealth in this new role,” said Cubbage. “Adequate water and wastewater treatment has been a passion of mine since I was a child accompanying my father to work, who worked for over 35 years in the water and wastewater treatment industry.”