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Gov. Pete Ricketts on Monday appointed Jason Jackson, his chief human resources officer, as director of state government's Department of Administrative Services.

Jackson, who will hold both positions, succeeds Byron Diamond, whom the governor dismissed as DAS director last month after expressing dissatisfaction with the way Diamond handled a temporary employee who was allegedly mistreating female employees.

"In his role as chief human resources officer, Jason has been instrumental in coaching our agency leaders to be more effective, efficient and customer-focused," Ricketts said in announcing the appointment.

"There are many opportunities at DAS to help our state agencies do an even better job in serving taxpayers."

Ricketts cited a number of initiatives that Jackson has helped implement:

* A hiring freeze that reduced the state employee head count by 500, or about 4 percent of the workforce.

* Launching and implementing the governor's pay-for-performance initiative with goals for all state employees.

* Expanding maternity benefits for women in state government.

* Extending state government's veterans hiring preference to include spouses.

* Updating sexual harassment policies for state agencies.

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The Department of Administrative Services includes the state accounting, state building and human resources divisions, among others. 

"We are going to continue to efficiently improve customer service so that we can pass savings back to taxpayers," Jackson said.

Before joining state government, Jackson led human resource teams in the tech industry for eight years.

Jackson's salary will be $160,000 a year. 

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.

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Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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