McLean County's top health official is announcing his retirement after eight years leading the department.
Walt Howe joined the health department in 1991 as an assistant administrator, and succeeded Bob Keller as director in 2009. During Howe's tenure, the department conducted a mass vaccination of 20,640 residents when the H1N1 threat appeared.
Howe's term was marked by controversy in late 2015 when he recommended a nearly 50% cut in funding for the county's drug court. Much of those funds were restored by the county administrator.
In a news release, the McLean County Board of Health says a search for a new director within the coming weeks. Howe will stay on through February 24th.