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CEO of workers' comp. insurer Pinnacol resigns

DENVER (AP) -- The head of Colorado's largest workers' compensation insurer is stepping down.

Pinnacol Assurance announced CEO Ken Ross' resignation Monday.

The company is a hybrid of public and private and has had a rocky relationship with the state since lawmakers considered taking its surplus to balance the state budget in 2009. Ross defended the company against that move and later over reports of lavish expense accounts. A task force has also studied whether to completely privatize the company.

The state created Pinnacol to provide coverage to any company that needs workers' compensation insurance. It operates as an independent company but pays no taxes and its employers are covered by the state pension system.

The company said the market is undergoing significant change and will seek a CEO who can "forge relationships with stakeholders."