- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The new director of Iowa Workforce Development is cutting ties with a longtime agency employee who was recently named head of the division that oversees unemployment insurance disputes.

Director Beth Townsend told employees Monday she will follow guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor and make the job overseeing administrative law judges available only to lawyers. The job is being posted Monday.

Townsend says 26-year employee Steve Slater has left the department. Slater was promoted to the administrator job months ago by then-director Teresa Wahlert but isn’t a lawyer.

The Department of Labor last month said that Wahlert created perceived pressure on judges to favor employers over workers. Wahlert laid off the administrator who oversaw judges in 2013 and took on that role herself before naming Slater to the job.

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