Kansas Turnpike CEO Johnston plans June retirement

Kansas Turnpike (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) — The president and CEO of the Kansas Turnpike Authority has announced he’ll retire in June but says a new law imposing administrative changes was only a “fairly minor” factor.

68-year-old Michael Johnston told the turnpike’s board and employees Friday that he’s stepping down effective June 15.

Johnston said he had already been contemplating retirement before Gov. Sam Brownback signed legislation a week earlier designating the governor’s transportation secretary as the turnpike’s director of operations.

The new law takes effect in July. It doesn’t abolish the turnpike CEO’s job, but it puts the transportation secretary in charge of the daily administration of the 236-mile toll road.

Brownback contends the changes will create efficiencies. Critics see a power grab.

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