By ADAM BEAM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The director of California’s troubled unemployment benefits department has resigned. Rita Saenz stepped down on Friday after just over one year on the job. She’ll be replaced by Nancy Farias. Farias been a deputy director at the department since 2020. Saenz came out of retirement in 2021 to lead the department as it was plagued by fraud and a backlog of payments. Newsom praised Saenz for implementing changes to prevent fraud. The agency recently uncovered a new fraud scheme targeting disability payments. Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson said the next director must have the guts to make necessary changes.