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Official paid $95,000 to run unemployment agency for 75 days

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Posted at 1:03 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 16:03:20-04

PHOENIX (AP) — A retired state administrator was paid almost $95,000 to run the Arizona Department of Economic Security for 75 days as the agency worked to process a crush of unemployment claims.

Tom Betlach ran the agency from March 20 through June 3 as it struggled to reprogram its computer system to handle unemployment claims from self-employed workers like Uber and Lyft drivers.

It’s faced months of complaints from people who have problems getting their unemployment checks and can’t reach the agency. The Arizona Republic reports that Betlach’s consulting company was paid about $8,925 a week through Gov. Doug Ducey’s office. A spokesman for Ducey says he brought critical experience to the job.