New president elected for AFSCME Council 61

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The state’s largest public workers union has a new leader.

Saturday, members of AFSCME Council 61 elected Rick Eilander as president. He replaces long-time president Danny Homan who retired after 16 years in the position.

Eilander started his career as a jailor with the Jasper County Sheriffs’ Office, has also worked in the  Newton Correctional Facility, and as a union representative with the council.

Eilander’s appointment comes at a time of friction between the union and the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Homan had repeatedly criticized the department for systemic failures like understaffing and malfunctioning that he believed helped contribute to the deaths of two Anamosa prison workers back in March, during what officials described as an attempted prison break.

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