July 17, 2020 - 6:35 pm
Updated July 17, 2020 - 7:18 pm
The deputy director of Nevada’s employment agency resigned Friday.
“It was my decision, and I did resign this morning,” Dennis Perea told the Review-Journal.
It’s the third time a top official has stepped down from the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation since April.
DETR did not immediately return a request for comment.
Meghin Delaney, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, said in a statement that the office does not comment on agency personnel matters but that it’s “actively searching for a replacement for the director position and hopes to make an appointment in the near future.”
Perea declined to say why he resigned, but his departure is almost one month after former DETR Director Heather Korbulic left her post “due to threats to her personal safety.” Korbulic held her role for less than three months after replacing Tiffany Tyler-Garner, who resigned in April.
In the June 19 announcement of Korbulic’s resignation, Gov. Steve Sisolak said he would name a new DETR director within a week. On June 24, Sisolak said he would announce a new director as soon as possible.
Sisolak told the Review-Journal last week that “we’re working on” getting a new director and that “hopefully it will be soon.”
Perea’s departure comes as DETR is struggling to address bottlenecks that have caused delays in payments for frustrated jobless Nevadans.
The agency has been flooded with claims since March 15, following the state’s temporary closure of businesses such as restaurants and casinos to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The department reported Friday that it has seen a total of 577,152 regular initial claims as of July 11, with 550,500 of those claims filed since March 14.
There have been 325,732 initial claims as of July 17 under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, according to DETR. The PUA program provides unemployment insurance benefits to self-employed workers and independent contractors.