Florida’s economic opportunity chief resigns amid jobs woes

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MIAMI SPRINGS, FLORIDA – JULY 16: Carlos Ponce joins other demonstrators participating in a protest asking Senators to support the continuation of unemployment benefits on July 16, 2020 in Miami Springs, Florida. The protesters were asking Senators to support the new Schumer/Wyden legislation that extends unemployment benefits for all laid-off Americans as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the economy. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida’s Director of Economic Opportunity has resigned, months after being stripped of his oversight of the state’s glitch-ridden unemployment system.

Ken Lawson said in a resignation letter Monday that he was leaving his post “in the spirit of turning the page and moving forward.” The number of unemployed overwhelmed the state’s benefits system, preventing many applicants from filing claims online because of glitch-ridden servers and phone lines. Hundreds of thousands of the state’s newly jobless waiting for benefits for many weeks – sometimes months – after losing their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak. The debacle prompted widespread complaints and put Gov. Ron DeSantis under political pressure.

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