The sudden resignation of Louis Daniel III as director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries last week caught supporters, critics, employees and members of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission by surprise.

Among the reasons that have been speculated on include mounting pressure of the job Daniel had held since 2005, potential fallout from a state audit of the commission’s activities, as well as political pressure from members of the General Assembly.

More puzzling is the lack of even an official statement from the state that Daniel had stepped aside.

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