- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s top human services official has stepped down amid concerns over the botched rollout of the state’s public benefits system.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo confirmed Tuesday that she had accepted the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services Elizabeth Roberts.

Raimondo said it was Roberts’ decision to leave the administration. But the governor added that Roberts, a former lieutenant governor, understood the challenges the state faced with United Healthcare Infrastructure Project and that a “fresh set of eyes” was needed.

Two other state officials, Department of Human Services Director Melba Depena Affigne and Chief Digital Officer Thom Guertin, resigned earlier this month and the state announced it was suspending further payment to contractor Deloitte Consulting.

Technical problems plaguing the $364 million computer system caused thousands of delays in distributing food stamp benefits.

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