Iowa DHS head says he was forced out over staff payment
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven says he was unexpectedly asked to resign by the governor last month after he objected to the governor’s request that he continue paying the salary of a woman moving from his department to the governor’s office.
Foxhoven, who gained national attention last week after The Associated Press reported on his admiration for the late rapper Tupac Shakur, says he declined to approve paying the salary of Elizabeth Matney. She left DHS on May 17 to accept a job as Reynolds’ adviser on health policy.
Foxhoven says he was concerned about the legality of using DHS funds to pay the salaries of the governor’s staff and wanted to seek an attorney general opinion but was asked to resign before he could get an answer.
Documents obtained by the AP show a memorandum of understanding between the governor’s office and DHS was signed on June 19, two days after Jerry Foxhoven was asked to resign. His name appears on the document but is crossed out and replaced by Gerd Clabaugh, the interim director named by Reynolds to replace Foxhoven. Clabaugh signed it.
Foxhoven was asked to resign on June 17. Until Wednesday he had declined to specify it was the reason for his departure.
A Reynolds spokesman says Foxhoven never raised such a complaint to her office.