Topeka The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, which has been under fire for its recent announcement to shut down nine offices, including the one in Lawrence, has hired a new director of communications, it was announced Friday.
Angela de Rocha will replace Bill Miskell, who worked briefly at SRS before going to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission. De Rocha will work closely with Rachel Whitten, public information officer at SRS since June 1.
"Angela will be working to strengthen the way SRS communicates both inside and outside the department, and with other agencies in state government," said SRS Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. "In particular, she will be focusing on improving the way we provide timely, useful information to our clients and stakeholder groups."
De Rocha grew up in western Kansas, has a background in journalism and worked most recently for U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., according to a news release from SRS. A request for more detailed information on De Rocha, including her salary, was not answered immediately by SRS.
SRS prompted a public outcry when it announced July 1 that it was closing offices as a cost-cutting move. The largest planned closure is the Lawrence office. Legislators said they were caught off-guard by the decision, getting information about it only hours before it was publicly released just prior to the July 4 holiday weekend.