Phoenix, June 22 – Jim Hillyard, the deputy director of operations for DES who served for a time as the agency’s interim head after Ducey fired Clarence Carter in January, resigned Monday. Adrienne Walker, his executive assistant, also tendered her resignation. In an email to DES employees yesterday morning, Director Tim Jeffries wrote, “I thank them for their service, and I ask you to join me in wishing them well in their future endeavors.” But sources say the duo’s departure wasn’t voluntary and that Hillyard was essentially fired. One source said Hillyard and Walker were given an ultimatum to either resign or be terminated, though it’s unclear why. Hillyard’s abrupt end at the agency was a far cry from just a few months ago, when Ducey named him as interim DES director and praised his 20 years of government service and his “wealth of institutional knowledge and economic and administrative expertise.” DES spokeswoman Tasya Peterson confirmed only that Hillyard and Walker resigned, and would not comment on whether the resignation was forced. “All I can tell you is that they submitted their letters of resignation,” she told our reporter.