Rosario Marin, a member of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Cabinet, resigned Thursday amid controversy surrounding income received for giving speeches for firms doing business with her agency, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In resigning her $175,000-a-year position, to which she was appointed in 2006, the head of the California State and Consumer Services Agency said she "decided to pursue other opportunities."
The Times, which had inquired about the speech income, reported she had taken about $28,000 in fees for talks to pharmaceutical firms within months of her agency's initiative to cut oversight of prescription drugs.
California law bans officials from taking speaking fees with some exceptions, for example when that income is tied to the speaker's "bona fide" profession, business or trade.
Marin said most of the speeches she gave were inspirational, based on the theme of encouragement to others to "achieve the unimaginable." She herself had risen from poverty in her native Mexico to become Treasurer of the United States under President George W. Bush.
The 50-year-old former mayor of Huntington Park, Calif., reportedly wrote in her resignation letter that she was "proud of the work we have done and the accomplishments we have achieved." A successor has not been appointed.
According to the agency's Web site, the Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency oversees the state's civil rights enforcement, consumer protection, and licensing of 2.4 million Californians in more than 255 different professions.
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