Perdue changes her messenger

Posted August 30, 2011 4:25 p.m. EDT
Updated August 31, 2011 12:16 p.m. EDT

While traversing eastern North Carolina to survey damage from Hurricane Irene, Gov. Beverly Perdue found time Tuesday to push her top spokeswoman out the door.

Chrissy Pearson, who has been on Perdue's staff since her lieutenant governor days and previously served as the spokeswoman for the state Department of Insurance, will be shifted to the new Department of Public Safety as a senior adviser to Secretary Reuben Young.

The department was created through the consolidation of Crime Control and Public Safety, Correction and Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

"This is one of the most important consolidations in the history of North Carolina state government," Perdue said in a statement. "Having Chrissy at the new agency – with her broad knowledge of state government – gives me confidence that the consolidation process will go smoothly.”

Despite the positive spin, the move comes less than a week after Perdue was criticized for encouraging tourists not to be too hasty to cancel their beach vacation plans despite the looming threat of Hurricane Irene. The governor shifted her message two days later, urging rapid evacuations.

There was no immediate word on who will succeed Pearson, who starts her new job next Tuesday.