According to papers filed on Tuesday with the Office of the State Comptroller, New York State Workers’ Compensation Board vice chairwoman Frances Libous is planning to retire by the end of 2014, three years before her term is set to end.
Libous, 62, received an extension to her term only last year, but according to TimesUnion.com, she’s stepping down from her $101,600-a-year job to support her family during difficult medical times. Her husband, Republican Senator Thomas Libous, has been undergoing cancer treatment. Senator Libous will run for re-election for the position he’s held since 1989, in spite of his health concerns.
The office of the senator wouldn’t comment on Mrs. Libous’s retirement when contacted by TimesUnion.com. Board spokeswoman Rachel McEneny would say that the agency was aware of Libous’s upcoming retirement and that the state’s appointment office had been notified to begin seeking a replacement.
There may be more to the sudden retirement than meets the eye, however. Government investigators are in the midst of probing members of the Libous family for illegal activity. In fact, both the senator and his son Matthew Libous were indicted for alleged felonies by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York earlier this year.
The Libous family apartment in Binghamton was raided during the probe and Frances Libous’s work computer, records and devices were seized, according to several witness reports.
Though the workers’ compensation system is fraught with rules and regulations (such as the 30-day time limit an employer has to answer a personal injury claim) there’s no evidence that Frances Libous is facing any charges herself.
Libous began her career as a public health nurse at the Broome County Health Department in 1983. She was appointed to the Compensation Board by Governor George Pataki in 2001 and was appointed to her current term by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013.