Idaho Department of Labor director resigns

BOISE - Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter announced today that Idaho Department of Labor Director Ken Edmunds has resigned.

Otter's office on Tuesday declined to say why Edmunds had submitted his resignation.

The Labor Department and Edmunds have been sued by a former department employee who says the department misused its special subpoena powers to search his personal cell phone and then fired him as a result of the search. The employee, James Cryer, contends in the federal lawsuit that the cell phone data revealed he had sent anonymous emails to state officials complaining that department employees were violating state purchasing laws and wasting government resources.

Otter's spokesman Jon Hanian said the lawsuit did not play any part in Edmunds' resignation. The case is progressing in federal court and both the department and Edmunds have denied any wrongdoing.

Edmunds has served as director of the agency since November 2013 when he was appointed to replace retiring director Roger Madsen.

Paul Spannknebel will serve as acting director while a search to find successor is conducted. Spannknebel is currently the deputy administrator at the Idaho Division of Human Resources.

The Department of Labor has about 550 employees.

The agency oversees workforce development, provides resources for job seekers, and assists workers with unemployment insurance and benefits.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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