- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The sudden resignation of a Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services administrator was spurred by state officials’ discovery that she had inflated her academic credentials, a department spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Yolanda Webb left voluntarily on Sept. 9, a little more than a week on the job, following a background check that found discrepancies on her application, spokeswoman Kathie Osterman said. Webb had been appointed director of the state’s Developmental Disabilities division at a salary of $142,500.

The new details about Webb’s resignation were revealed in emails and other documents released Wednesday by the department. The reason behind Webb’s resignation was first reported by the Omaha World-Herald.

Osterman said Webb claimed on her resume that she had received a doctoral degree from Union Institute & University, but in her cover letter she said she was still working on the degree. The governor’s office relied on the resume for a news release about Webb’s hiring and allowed her to review the announcement, but she didn’t correct the inaccuracy, Osterman said.

Webb submitted her resignation to Gov. Pete Ricketts on Sept. 9, a few days after human resources discovered she was still technically enrolled in the graduate program but had not signed up for any classes. Webb, who started the job on Aug. 31, said in her resignation letter than she had decided to go in a new direction, but did not elaborate.

In a Sept. 4 email, DHHS human resources administrator Alex Garcia shared the inaccurate information with Sharon Pettid, the state’s chief human resources officer. The email also noted two lawsuits against Webb, one filed by an Ohio video production company accusing Webb of writing a bad check in which she was ordered to pay about $4,100, and a tax lawsuit filed by the city of Cincinnati that was later dismissed.

“Thank you for bringing this to my attention,” Pettid wrote in her reply. Pettid forwarded the message to the governor’s chief of staff and DHHS’ CEO.

Webb, of New Orleans, had been the executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Human Services District, the planning and public policy body for several Louisiana parishes.

Courtney Miller, a deputy director in the Nebraska department’s Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care, will fill in until a new person is hired.

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