NCDOT Sec. Tata resigns to 'focus on personal matters'

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina Transportation Secretary Tony Tata has resigned.

Gov. Pat McCrory issued a news release Tuesday announcing the resignation, saying the departure was prompted so Tata could "focus on personal and family matters in addition to pursuing his passion as an author."

The retired U.S. Army brigadier general stoked controversy earlier this year when he left on a book tour hours before a predicted storm coated much of the state in ice, making roads treacherous. Tata has routinely made appearances on cable television news shows to serve as a conservative political commentator. He is also the author of several novels, his latest a thriller about a disgraced special-forces commando searching for an American traitor.

The Republican has also recently been widely rumored to be considering a run for Congress.