JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The outgoing leader of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says he's leaving because of alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lee Smithson resigned Friday.
RELATED: Mississippi EMA director resigns
He says in a statement that his dependence on alcohol hurt his ability to run the agency and he stepped down after consulting with Gov. Phil Bryant. Smithson says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder following deployment to Iraq and work after 2005's Hurricane Katrina. Smithson says he began receiving treatment last year. He says the stress agency leadership "only compounded my issues."
Smithson became emergency management director in 2016 after more than a decade directing military support for the Mississippi National Guard. That included coordinating efforts following Katrina and 2010's Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
A colonel in the military, Smithson served in Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq.
- UPDATE: Emergency director says alcohol and PTSD led to resignation
- Mississippi's emergency director resigns
- Saltillo Public Works director resigns
- Executive director resigning from Columbus Arts Council
- UPDATE: State of emergency declared in Alabama ahead of Nate
- Alcohol could soon come to Houston
- Could alcohol sales be coming to Houston?
- Oxford to practice emergency management
- Army leader who led Katrina recovery to speak in Georgia
- Alabama joins coalition to protect lawmaker-led prayer