Idaho labor director Ken Edmunds resigns

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has announced Idaho Department of Labor Director Ken Edmunds has resigned effective immediately.

Otter's office on Tuesday declined to say why Edmunds had submitted his resignation.

The Labor Department and Edmunds have been sued by a former department employee who says the department misused its special subpoena powers to search his personal cell phone and then fired him as a result of the search. The employee, James Cryer, contends in the federal lawsuit that the cell phone data revealed he had sent anonymous emails to state officials complaining that department employees were violating state purchasing laws and wasting government resources.

Otter's spokesman Jon Hanian said the lawsuit did not play any part in Edmunds' resignation. The case is progressing in federal court and both the department and Edmunds have denied any wrongdoing.

Paul Spannknebel, deputy administrator, will serve as acting director until a replacement is announced.

Edmunds had been director of the labor agency since 2013.

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