State Drug Director Fran Flener will retire effective Thursday, Gov. Mike Beebe’s office said Monday.
Beebe appointed Flener to the position in April 2007.
Beebe’s office said Steve Varady, who has been the program manager in Flener’s office since 2009, will serve as state drug director for the rest of Beebe’s term. Beebe, who is prevented by term limits from seeking a third term, will leave office in January.
"I thank Fran for her service as drug director and for her long private-sector career in substance-abuse treatment," Beebe stated in a news release issued by his office. "She has earned an enjoyable retirement, and will leave knowing that the office is in good hands with Steve at the helm."
Varady, a graduate of UALR, is a certified law-enforcement instructor for drug abuse and autism-spectrum disorders. During the 2011 legislative session, he helped draft legislation that established the Arkansas Prescription Monitoring Program. He has also served on the Arkansas Legislative Task Force on Autism Subcommittee.
The Arkansas drug director is tasked with ensuring that alcohol-and-drug programs and policies are well-planned and coordinated, according to Beebe’s office.