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A first-term state representative has been hired as a legislative liaison to the state Department of Human Services after losing his re-election bid last month.

Republican Jeff Williams submitted a letter on Friday resigning from his seat representing House District 89 in Springdale, the department said in a news release.

He will start work Monday as the department's deputy chief of legislative affairs at a salary of $89,500 a year, department spokesman Marci Manley said.

Williams will report to Kelley Linck, a fellow Republican who resigned from his seat in the House to become the first director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs when it was created in 2016.

Linck's salary this year is $115,283, according to the state's transparency website.

Williams is also dissolving his property tax management business "to continue public service in this new role," the department said in the release.

He will fill a position vacated in July when Rebekah Lee became deputy chief of the department's communications and community engagement office, where she supervises a team that handles public records requests, Manley said.

Williams, 56, lost his bid for a second term in the House to Democrat Megan Godfrey in the Nov. 6 election.

During his term last year, he helped sponsor a resolution passed by the Legislature that urged Gov. Asa Hutchinson to extend Medicaid coverage to children who have moved to the state from the Marshall Islands. The state later adopted rules implementing the change.

Williams also spent more than 20 years in the Army, specializing in psychological operations "geared toward building relationships and understanding the needs of domestic and international partners across the globe," the department said in the release.

He was the Washington County assessor from 2011-15 and served on the Springdale City Council from 2003-04.

"Jeff brings a long history of public service to our agency, and his time as a leader in the military gave him experience in developing common goals, communicating with key stakeholders, and finding solutions," Linck said in the release.

The Human Services Department office works with "legislators and others to address constituent concerns or questions regarding DHS policies and programs," coordinates with other state agencies and communicates with legislative staff, according to the release.

Metro on 12/02/2018

Print Headline: Representative resigns seat to take job with Arkansas DHS

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