Gov. Ricketts names replacement for ousted administrative services director

Gov. Ricketts names replacement for ousted administrative services director
Jason Jackson will take on the new position while continuing his work as chief human resources officer. His salary will be $160,000. RYAN SODERLIN/THE WORLD-HERALD

LINCOLN — Gov. Pete Ricketts on Monday named Jason Jackson, his chief human resources officer, to lead the Department of Administrative Services.

Jackson will take on the new position while continuing his work as chief human resources officer. His salary will be $160,000.

On Monday, Ricketts praised Jackson for coaching state agency leaders to be more effective, efficient and customer focused. The governor said he expects Jackson will work toward operational excellence in his new position.

Administrative Services encompasses a variety of departments that serve state government, including personnel, purchasing, building services and technology. The agency is home to the Center of Operational Excellence, an initiative Ricketts launched in 2015 to help eliminate waste and improve performance in state agencies.

“We are going to continue to efficiently improve customer service so that we can pass savings back to taxpayers,” Jackson said.

Jackson replaces former Administrative Services Director Byron Diamond, who was fired in November for failing to act against an employee who created a hostile work environment. Diamond’s termination came after Jackson counseled him repeatedly about dealing with the problem employee.

Jackson also investigated complaints about former State Patrol Superintendent Brad Rice, who was terminated last year for allegedly interfering in internal affairs investigations and ignoring a complaint by a trooper who said she was forced to undergo a sexually invasive examination during a pre-employment physical.

Jackson is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he was an operations officer supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has a law degree. Before taking the job in Nebraska government, he spent eight years leading human resource teams in the tech industry.

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