Backer gone from Employment Security

Second stint at agency ends without answers

Gracia Yancey Backer is out as head of the state’s Employment Security Division.

A reporter calling her office Tuesday was told she no longer worked for the agency.

When asked if Backer had been released or had resigned, Scott Holste, Gov. Jay Nixon’s spokesman, said the governor’s office “won’t be able to comment to that extent on personnel matters.”

Backer did not answer calls to her New Bloomfield home seeking a comment for this story.

A Democrat, Backer headed the Employment Security Division from 2001-05, in Gov. Bob Holden’s administration, and returned to the post after Nixon became governor in 2009.

Employment Security is a division of the state Labor and Industrial Relations department, and Backer’s departure comes at the same time Nixon announced that Lawrence G. Rebman, the department director, was named an administrative law judge in Kansas City for the Worker’s Compensation division.

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