DES MOINES, Iowa — A lawyer representing the former head of the Iowa Department of Human Services, Jerry Foxhoven, is holding a news conference Thursday.
Tom Duff of the Duff Law Firm, P.L.C. says more will be released about the plan to file a wrongful termination claim with the State Appeal Board at a 10:30 a.m. news conference.
Foxhoven was appointed to the position by Gov. Kim Reynolds in 2017 and in June she asked him to resign. She hasn’t given any specifics about her decision but told reporters Wednesday “I’ve decided to go in a different direction. It is a political appointed position. It`s at will and it serves at the pleasure of the governor.”
Foxhoven tells the Des Moines Register, that Gov. Reynolds asked him to do something illegal: use DHS funds to pay the salary of an employee of the Governor’s Office. He wouldn’t and that’s why he was asked to resign.
The Governor’s office says Foxhoven previously agreed to other similar arrangements. “This has been a longstanding practice of previous administrations dating back to Governor Vilsack. If this was former director Foxhoven’s concern, he never raised it before offering his resignation or when he signed three MOUs,” says spokesman for the governor, Pat Garrett.
Under Foxhoven the agency has dealt with a number of controversies including the aftermath of the deaths of two teen girls at the hands of adoptive parents under DHS supervision, which happened during his predecessor’s tenure, and the transition to privately managed Medicare in Iowa.