Top Democrat seeks oversight hearing of DHS chief’s departure
DES MOINES — The legislature’s top Republicans say there will be no investigation in the legislative branch of why Governor Kim Reynolds forced the head of the Department of Human Services to resign.
Former DHS director Jerry Foxhoven says he objected to using agency funds to pay someone from his agency who moved to work on the governor’s staff, since legislators set aside more money to pay that salary. A spokesman for the governor says Foxhoven never raised those concerns with the governor. Representative Ruth Ann Gaines of Des Moines, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, says she now has even more interest in an oversight hearing.
“Until we can dig into this situation to know the truth, every statement is suspect,” Gaines says. “…(Taxpayers) need to know where their money is being spent.”
It has been standard practice in state government to shift money from state agency budgets to cover the costs of salaries for staff in the governor’s office. This past spring, legislators appropriated an extra $200,000 to the governor’s office, for two additional staff members. Reynolds has said she asked the director of the Iowa Department of Human Services to resign because she wants the agency to go in a new direction.