TABC Commission says vacant positions are a ‘threat to public health’

Ed Swedberg, deputy executive director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, answers questions during the House Committee on General Investigating & Ethics meeting on April 13, 2017. The committee was investigating TABC out-of-state travel to conference at taxpayer expense. (Courtesy: Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune)
Ed Swedberg, deputy executive director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, answers questions during the House Committee on General Investigating & Ethics meeting on April 13, 2017. The committee was investigating TABC out-of-state travel to conference at taxpayer expense. (Courtesy: Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With the abrupt departure of the acting director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the agency now has to deliberate and appoint his position as well as several other vacant positions.

On Tuesday morning, the TABC Commission will meet to discuss and potentially appoint the person who will replace Ed Swedberg. Swedberg resigned after barely a month on the job amid continued criticism that the agency took taxpayer-funded trips to Hawaii and San Diego. According to the TABC agenda, Swedberg submitted his resignation on July 7 to become effective the close of business on July 10.

Currently, the state agency has neither an executive director nor a deputy executive director. According to the agenda, the “lack of leadership at the highest levels constitutes an imminent threat to public health and safety.” The commission will also discuss the appointment for general counsel, who also left the agency in early July.

The Texas Tribune reports Swedberg’s resignation marks the sixth high-level departure since April from the agency that oversees alcohol regulation in Texas. He said he was quitting because he did not want to participate in the “termination” of Licensing Director Amy Harrison. Harrison helped oversee the creation of a controversial flier depicting head honchos holding six packs on a plane headed to a conference.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m.

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