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Reynolds: 'A Lot Of Factors' Went Into Decision To Replace Agency Director

kim reynolds
Katarina Sostaric
Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks with reporters at the Iowa Capitol today.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday there were “a lot of factors” that went into her decision to pressure a health agency director to resign two years after she appointed him.

Reynolds said ousting former Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhovenwas part of her effort to put a new team together throughout her administration to advance her vision for the state. But she did not provide details about any disagreements they might have had, or if she had issues with his performance or behavior.

“I’m not going to get into that. There were a lot of factors that went into that decision,” Reynolds said. “I appreciate Jerry stepping in at a really tough time and helping with the transition. I appreciate that a lot. I just made the decision to go a different direction.”

Asked what direction she wants DHS to go in, Reynolds said “stay tuned.” She added the state will launch a national search for a new DHS director.

A reporter asked Reynolds if a disciplinary action was behind her decision to replace Foxhoven.

“There were a lot of factors that went into that decision,” Reynolds said. “Just a lot of factors.”

Asked if her decision had anything to do with a federal class-action lawsuit over disciplinary practices at a DHS-run school for boys, Reynolds said, “No.”

Iowa Department of Public Health Director Gerd Clabaugh will also serve as interim DHS director.

This comes less than two weeks before the state’s largest Medicaid management company leaves the state and is replaced by another. Hundreds of thousands of Medicaid patients will have to switch to a new company very soon.

“It’s fine. We’re in good shape,” Reynolds said of the upcoming Medicaid transition.

Reynolds said she expects Medicaid Director Mike Randol to continue in his position. She said the state is continuing to negotiate contracts with the private companies that manage Iowa’s Medicaid system.

Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter