The state Department of Human Services announced today that it had hired Jason Pederson, a reporter for KATV, as its first ombudsman. He goes to work Nov. 18.

Pederson, 49, has been the Seven On Your Side consumer reporter since 1999.

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A release said Pederson “will work with DHS leadership to create a client Bill of Rights and materials to educate clients about their rights as well as outline where clients should go for information and answers to questions.”

DHS Director Cindy Gillespie said DHS has been working to “transform” the department and the next phase of work is focused on improving customer service.

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UPDATE: Pederson will be paid $80,242, according to DHS.