Update: Glen Johnson updates with the big news that Sheriff Andrea Cabral will resign to become Patrick's public safety secretary.
It's been expected -- and most of the changes had been in the rumor mill for weeks -- but it's still a big freakin' deal when the governor replaces a whole bunch of cabinet secretaries at once.
A couple of the departees will look to some like they're being tossed for cause: JudyAnn Bigby is under fire for the crime lab and meningitis fiascos at HHS, and Mary Beth Heffernan has some ownership of the Sheila Burgess mess.
But these changes have been in the works for a while. Deval Patrick wanted to move forward with a team committed to serving out the full final two years of his term, and Bigby -- the only cabinet secretary to have served since day one of the administration -- was widely expected to get out now. Heffernan is also no surprise.
The other two, Jay Gonzalez of A&F, and Paul Reveille of Education, have also been in the gossip mill. In fact, the biggest surprise in Glen Johnson's scoop may be that Glen Shor, rather than Greg Bialecki, is replacing Gonzalez in the key budget post.
This is not to downplay the changes (or the Johnson scoop). These are big changes -- and it will be very interesting to see who Patrick puts in charge of HHS in particular.