Wisconsin Secretary Resigns Amid Unemployment Claim Backlog

Sep 18, 2020

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's top leader resigned Friday after failing to find a way to address a massive backlog of unprocessed unemployment benefit claims sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Tony Evers' office said Caleb Frostman stepped down after the governor called for his resignation. Evers, a Democrat, has been taking intense criticism for months from rival Republicans over DWD's inability to process tens of thousands of benefit claims that have been flowing in since the pandemic shut down the state's economy in March. According to DWD data, 713,508 weekly claims from nearly 1000,000 people.

Evers said state Department of Corrections Deputy Secretary Amy Pechacek will lead the DWD until a new secretary is appointed.

Frostman led the Door County Economic Development Corporation before winning an open seat in the state Senate in a special election in June 2018. He lost the seat in the November 2018 general election. Evers appointed him DWD secretary in January 2019.