Governor to visit state facility that’s under federal investigation

DES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds is going to meet with staff at the Glenwood Resource Center this afternoon. It’s the governor’s first visit to the facility that cares of patients with severe intellectual disabilities since she fired Glenwood’s superintendent in late December.

“I’m actually going on site as part of the discovery process,” Reynolds says.

The phrase “discovery process” refers to the collection of evidence and interviews with witnesses in a legal proceeding. Reynolds has hinted her trip also may be related to another firing. This past summer, the governor fired Department of Human Services director Jerry Foxhoven. Reynolds says Glenwood staff may have complained to Foxhoven about the facility’s superintendent, who is now under federal investigation — accused of using patients for human experiments.

“I believe the former (DHS) director did receive some correspondence from individuals there,” Reynolds says, “but that will all be part of the discovery process as well.”

The governor says her new Iowa Department of Human Services director is putting the right policies and procedures in place to respond to the situation at Glenwood, but Reynolds says the staff at the facility need to hear that directly from her.

“There’s a lot of state employees that work hard every single day down there to take care of some of our most vulnerable Iowans,” Reynolds says, “and I want to thank them for the work they’re doing, I want to let them know that we take this very seriously, that the allegations are unacceptable and we’re making changes to address them.”

Federal officials are investigating physical injuries and allegations of improper nutrition for patients at Glenwood as well as the charge that the former superintendent used patients for a sexual arousal study.