Bryant Demands Resignation of Top ESD Leadership


For Immediate Release
Contact: Jason Roe (202) 374-2424

Yet Another Inslee Administration Failure
Bryant Demands Resignation of Top ESD Leadership

(Seattle, Wash.) – Governor Jay Inslee’s four years as Governor are marked by repeated management failures, which in some cases have resulted in deaths, yet the Governor takes no responsibility for these failures.

Last night, King 5 highlighted a troubling story at the Employment Services Department (ESD) detailing how the agency is incorrectly collecting taxes from small businesses. More than 250,000 employers pay taxes to ESD to cover unemployment benefits.

A computer program designed to manage the collection of these taxes was projected to cost $67 million but ballooned to $87 million. But even worse than the cost overruns is the failure of the system to work, forcing small businesses to spend hours working through ESD bureaucracy to find answers, frequently getting conflicting information.

“What’s happened at ESD is inexcusable,” said gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant. “Unfortunately, it isn’t surprising. The Inslee Administration has an impressive track record of mismanagement across state government and this is just another in series of embarrassing failures. At a minimum the Governor should demand the resignations of top ESD leadership and if he was a leader himself, he’d take responsibility for the failures and get them fixed.”

Current and former staff warned ESD management of the problems but their advice was ignored, compounding the problems. Lisa Marsh, an Inslee ally, who oversees the program, even blamed staff failures when she knew it was the failed computer program.

“From the early release of 3,000 inmates, the escape of nearly 200 patients from the state’s largest mental hospital and subsequent cover-up, this administration is the gang who can’t shoot straight,” continued Bryant. “We now have the 8th highest unemployment rate in the country, traffic in Seattle is the 4th worst, and homelessness has exploded 42% in King County alone on Jay Inslee’s watch.”

“As the next Governor, I will not make excuses and I will not blame my employees, I will get answers and fix problems,” said Bryant.


Matthew Donnellan