Former Mo. lawmaker tapped for labor agency post

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed a former state lawmaker as acting director of the agency responsible for collecting unemployment insurance taxes and paying jobless benefits.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/16YHaNk) that Nixon has named Ken Jacob to head the state Labor Department's Division of Employment Security.

Jacob, a Democrat from Columbia, will serve as acting director in place of Gracia Backer, who left the position without a public explanation. A permanent nomination requires Senate confirmation.

It's the second recent change at the Labor Department, whose director was appointed last week as an administrative judge for workers' compensation cases.

Nixon's office told The Tribune the changes are personnel issues and declined comment.

Jacob was elected to the Missouri House in 1982 and later served in the state Senate.

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