"It was not my idea" to leave, Secrest told The Associated Press on Friday.
Secrest, 52, of suburban St. Louis, declined to elaborate on a reason for her departure.
"I'm leaving simply because you serve at the pleasure of the governor; I'm just leaving," she said.
Mrs. Secrest's departure came as a shock to others, as well:
Gary Marble, president of Associated Industries of Missouri, said he had met with Secrest late Thursday morning to discuss the Second Injury Fund and he had no indication her job was about to end. Marble is a former Republican lawmaker from Neosho who served with Secrest in the House and considers her a friend.
"I'm as shocked as anyone else," Marble said Friday. "She is the most knowledgeable person in the state of Missouri on workers' compensation issues. She is the most credible person, the most honest person, the most ethical and trustworthy person I have ever worked with."
The Carthage Press reports that as recently as Monday, Mrs. Secrest spoke at the first hearing of Rep. Steve Hunter's interim committee, which is studying the Second Injury Fund:
We had the director, Pat Secrest, (director of the division of workers compensation) to testify about the history of the fund and general information about what bankrupted the fund," Hunter said.