New state Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) Commissioner Ken Peterson has hired three lawyers as his top lieutenants to lead the agency that’s responsible for workers compensation and OSHA programs.
Kris Eiden will be the new deputy commissioner. Eiden and Peterson worked together under former Attorney General Mike Hatch. Eiden was Hatch’s chief deputy attorney general. She was also a senior official at the state Commerce Department when Hatch was Commerce commissioner in the 1980s.
Jessica Looman will be assistant commissioner for construction codes and labor standards. She has previously been a staff attorney for the Laborer’s District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota. She was appointed by previous DLI Commissioner Steve Sviggum as one of 12 members on the Workers Compensation Advisory Work Group.
Gary Hall will be assistant commissioner for safety and workers compensation. He has been a workers-compensation judge at DLI and the Office of Administrative Hearings. He was previously DLI’s assistant commissioner for workers compensation in 2001.
Senior DLI appointees Michael Houliston and Tom Joachim, who served in Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s administration, have left state service.