Head of Canada's spy agency to retire in May

Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) director Michel Coulombe waits to testify before the Senate national security and defence committee in Ottawa March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The head of Canada’s spy agency said on Monday he would step down at the end of May, the second top security official to announce plans to retire in as many weeks.

Michel Coulombe, who has been the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) since October 2013, said in a statement that after more than 30 years with the agency it was time “to move on to the next stage of my life with my family.”

CSIS found itself in the midst of a controversy last November after a Canadian court found that the agency had illegally kept data collected during investigations over the past decade and threatened sanctions if the issue occurred again.

Coulombe said at the time that the agency would immediately stop sharing and analyzing associated data until it could “assess potential operational and legal impacts.”

His announcement on Monday comes one week after the head of Canada’s national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said he would be retiring at the end of June.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale congratulated Coulombe in a tweet and thanked him for his service “in keeping Canadians safe.”

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Sandra Maler