Highway Patrol Chief to Head North Dakota Workers Comp

March 9, 2009

Former North Dakota Highway Patrol superintendent Bryan Klipfel has been named the state’s new workers compensation director.

Gov. John Hoeven announced Friday that he’s chosen Klipfel for the job. Klipfel starts March 16.

It’s the governor’s first hire since North Dakota voters decided last November the governor should have power to hire the director of Workforce Safety and Insurance.

Before, an appointed board of directors had the authority.

Klipfel succeeds interim director Bruce Furness. The agency has not had a permanent director since Sandy Blunt was dismissed in December 2007.

North Dakota’s House Republican majority leader says the choice of a Klipfel is a big mistake. Fargo Rep. Al Carlson said Gov. Hoeven shouldn’t have chosen someone with no background in insurance or workers compensation issues.

Hoeven says Klipfel has strong management and people skills. But Carlson says the director of WSI also should have some knowledge of what the agency does.

Workforce Safety and Insurance provides medical, rehabilitation and wage benefits for workers who are injured on the job.

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