Former Kentucky unemployment official found dead at age 39

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The former director of Kentucky’s unemployment office, who was fired last year because of problems in the program, has died. Muncie McNamara was 39.

An obituary posted online said McNamara died after a battle with chronic depression.

No cause of death was immediately reported, and there was no indication of any connection between the death and the work McNarama performed for the state last year.

Thompson, assistant chief of the Bardstown Police Department, said an investigation into McNamara’s death is ongoing.
McNamara’s body was found outside of a business Sunday morning in Bardstown, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Lousville, according to Nelson County Coroner Field Houghlin.

“Mr. McNamara was taken to the medical examiners office in Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday for a pathological study to determine the cause and manner of death,” Houghlin said. “Those results are pending at this time.”

McNamara was quietly fired in May 2020 amid reports detailing a data breach and problems with a surge of unemployment claims brought on by coronavirus-related shutdowns.

He was a political supporter of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in the 2019 governor’s race. Beshear said last summer that he believed McNamara’s termination appeared to be valid. McNamara had appealed the firing to the state personnel board, according to media reports.

McNamara is survived by his wife, Audrey Haydon, and two children.