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Head of Employment Security Department leaving to join Biden administration

Suzi LeVine, right, the state's Employment Security Department Commissioner
Ted S. Warren
/
The Associated Press file
Suzi LeVine, right, the state's Employment Security Department Commissioner

Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine, who came under fire for delays in unemployment benefit payments and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars to fraud during the pandemic, is leaving her position to join the administration of President Joe Biden.

According to a news release issued Friday, LeVine's departure is effective Feb. 1, at which point details of her new position will be released.

Deputy Commissioner Cami Feek will serve as acting commissioner until Gov. Jay Inslee appoints a permanent replacement.

In a written statement, Inslee said that LeVine led the agency “through an extremely challenging time and I never doubted that she had the best interests of working Washingtonians at the heart of all her endeavors.”

LeVine, who was appointed by Inslee in 2018, previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein under President Barack Obama. Before that she worked in the private sector for Microsoft and Expedia.

“I have loved every minute of my job here at ESD, even the ones that have been the most difficult,” LeVine said in a prepared statement.