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Census director abruptly quits people-counting agency

Associated Press

Washington — The director of the people-counting Census Bureau has left his job just as the agency steps up its once-a-decade tally.

The Commerce Department’s abrupt announcement on Tuesday said that John H. Thompson is “retiring,” ahead of his expected departure in December. The statement quoted Thompson as saying that he leaving to “pursue opportunities in the private sector.”

He testified to the House last week that his agency was on schedule toward the 2020 count of an increasingly diversifying country. Members of Congress said they are concerned about cost overruns.

The director is appointed by the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate to a term of five years.