Iowa Demorcatic Leaders Want an Investigation into Foxhoven's Forced Resignation, 5:32

Jul 22, 2019

Former Iowa DHS Director Jerry Foxhoven

072219 532

Democratic lawmakers in the Iowa House and Senate are calling for an investigation of why Republican Governor Kim Reynolds asked a former state agency director to resign.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R)

Former Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven told a reporter for Pitchfork — an online magazine — that he got a troubling request from the governor’s staff. Foxhoven said the governor’s staff asked me to do something that he thought was illegal and that he wouldn’t do it, and the staff then said Foxhoven needed to resign, as reported by Radio Iowa. Foxhoven didn’t say what he had been asked to do.

A spokesman for Governor Reynolds said Foxhoven “never raised a concern like that” to the governor’s staff and they didn’t know what he was referring to. Reynolds has said there were “a lot of factors” that went into her decision to ask Foxhoven to resign.

Democrats in the legislature say Reynolds is violating a state law passed two years ago that requires officials to publicly reveal the reasons for firing a state employee. Republicans hold a majority of seats in the legislature, so any review would have to be initiated by Republicans — and so far none of Reynolds’ fellow Republicans have called for an investigation.  State Auditor Rob Sand says he also intends to look into the circumstances behind Foxhoven’s resignation.

Nebraska's state economic development director is leaving his post next month.

Director Dave Rippe plans to return to his hometown of Hastings to work in real estate and talent development after he steps down on Aug. 9. Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the departure Monday, praising Rippe for his "outstanding service" to the state and his help in winning national economic development awards.

Ricketts says he has already begun a search to replace Rippe, who started working for the state in January 2016. An interim director will lead the agency until a full-time replacement is chosen.

Ricketts credited Rippe for leading a state economic development team that recently attracted investments from companies including Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

Rippe is the third person to lead the department under Ricketts.