OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The executive director for the Oklahoma Employment Securities Commission resigned Friday afternoon amid pressure to get unemployment payments out the door during the pandemic.
“It was a challenging time, but it doesn’t feel like enough to the state of Oklahoma, and I understand that,” Roberson said.
Thousands of Oklahomans continue to wait for unemployment assistance.
“We’re trying to figure out where our unemployment benefits are,” said Jannie Gunter, a woman at an unemployment rally at the capitol.
“It seems like the OESC is just not doing their job,” said Jack Murdock, a man at the same rally.
Roberson said her main reason for stepping down was the pressure during well documented issues for the OESC to give people their unemployment benefits.
“There’s a lot of pressure from the constituents here in the state of Oklahoma,” Roberson said.
So, the situation on Oklahoma’s capitol hill is getting dicier after her resignation. Roberson said she was asked to take time off from work just last week. However, she decided to stay.
“There’s no way I would feel comfortable abandoning the team at this time,” she said.
Come Friday morning, OESC leaders called an executive session. During the meeting they voted to hold another meeting next week, planning to replace Roberson. So, she said she decided to resign.
“Knowing that I would be voted out next week, there’s no sense in having to put everybody through that, and that would just distract everybody from making progress,” she said. “So, I thought I would just help speed up that process.”
Now, Roberson is stepping away after just a few months on the job. The OESC is now searching for a new head honcho.
“I feel very blessed to have been a part of it and to be able to make some of the changes I was able to make,” she said. “I feel like everyone has to make the decision they feel is right, and I support the commission’s decision.”
Roberson is also one month removed from a double mastectomy, a breast cancer surgery she had in late April. After the surgery, she came back to work in three days.
Roberson also said the OESC had processed $732 million in eight weeks.