Haley Loeun, a top aide to the embattled leader of the Pinellas and Hillsborough jobs boards, was fired Thursday from her $130,000 position as business services director.
Loeun came under criticism after the Tampa Bay Times reported that CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay employees and an anonymous letter sent to Hillsborough County commissioners claimed Loeun and president and CEO Edward Peachey were involved in a romantic relationship.
Peachey, who was suspended earlier this month, also signed off on four substantial raises for Loeun and approved the hiring of three of her relatives since 2014.
"She was terminated without cause and escorted from the building," CareerSource Pinellas board chair Jack Geller said about Loeun, who was an at-will employee.
Peachey has declined to comment to the Times about the nature of his relationship with Loeun. She has said she has a "professional relationship" with Peachey and considers him a "close friend."
The four raises that Peachey signed off on for Loeun, 41, allowed her to rise to the highest levels of the sister agencies, payroll records show. Her salary ballooned from $47,554 in 2013 to $130,000 last year, making her the agencies’ second highest paid administrator, behind only Peachey.
After bonuses and cashing in paid time off, Loeun grossed $179,822 in 2017, according to the payroll records.
During Loeun’s rise to the top, three relatives joined her at the agencies. Her brother resigned Friday, officials said.
Meanwhile, the agencies are under federal, state and local investigations looking into how they reported job figures to the state. The agencies took credit for finding work for thousands of people they had not assisted. Both agencies receive millions in tax dollars each year to help people find jobs.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and U.S. Department of Labor all launched investigations into the agency after the Times inquired about the job figures that were being reported.
Board members at each agency will meet next week to decide Peachey’s future.
The CareerSource Tampa Bay board, which oversees the Hillsborough County agency, will meet Monday at 2 p.m. The CareerSource Pinellas board will meet Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Contact Mark Puente at mpu[email protected] or (727) 892-2996. Follow @MarkPuente