Executive director of Florida’s jobs agency to resign

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Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jess Panuccio is resigning.

Gov. Rick Scott announced the decision Friday in a press release that said Panuccio has decided “to pursue new opportunities.”

Panuccio was appointed in 2013 and Scott reappointed him after winning re-election in 2014. But earlier this year the Senate failed to confirm Panuccio and he faced another tough confirmation process in the legislative session that begins next month.

Panuccio’s agency came under fire for its handling of a $63 million unemployment benefits system and website launched in late 2013. People seeking benefits had problems getting them.

Still, Scott praised him in announcing the resignation, saying Panuccio has helped efforts to create jobs.

Panuccio’s last day will be Jan. 8.