Top Florida Economic Official Resigns Amid Questions

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The head of Florida’s economic development agency is resigning amid questions about receiving jobless benefits before he was hired by Gov. Rick Scott.

Hunting Deutsch submitted his resignation letter on Tuesday.

He told The Associated Press that questions about his decision to apply for and receive unemployment benefits from 2009 to 2011 were creating a distraction for Scott.

Deutsch, a former bank executive, was hired earlier this year to run the Department of Economic Opportunity.

That agency is responsible for the administration of unemployment compensation benefits.

The Scott administration has said it did not know that Deutsch received benefits before he was hired.

A Republican state senator this week said Deutsch needed to explain how he received benefits since he was in Europe during part of that time.