[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1994, Book II)]
[October 3, 1994]
[Page 1681]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on the Resignation of Mike Espy as Secretary of Agriculture
October 3, 1994

    I have accepted with regret Secretary Mike Espy's offer to resign 
effective December 31, 1994. This decision will permit me to name a 
successor efficiently. It will facilitate the work of the Department, 
and it will enable Secretary Espy to leave his post with an outstanding 
record of accomplishment that will outlast the uncertainty that exists 
    Secretary Espy has been a relentless champion for American farmers 
and consumers. Because of his leadership, legislation enabling USDA to 
reinvent its management and modernize the services it provides farmers 
and farm communities is nearing completion in Congress. When lives and 
livelihoods were threatened by natural disasters in rural communities, 
Mike Espy was our steward for relief efforts. As Agriculture Secretary, 
he was an advocate for ensuring that people who were hungry in an 
abundant America were fed by the food we grow here. He fought for 
agriculture exports, the environment, and for a Department that was 
service-friendly to farmers and taxpayers. In these duties and others, 
he served well.
    Over the last few weeks, however, the Office of the White House 
Counsel has reviewed information about Secretary Espy and the actions he 
took while in office. Although Secretary Espy has said he has done 
nothing wrong, I am troubled by the appearance of some of these 
incidents and believe his decision to leave is appropriate. During the 
remainder of his tenure, Secretary Espy will recuse himself from meat 
and poultry inspection issues. And I have asked Judge Abner Mikva, the 
White House Counsel, to continue his review of the Espy case until that 
review is complete.