Kim Reynolds accused of flouting 2017 openness law in former DHS director’s firing

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ refusal to specify why she forced the head of the Iowa Department of Human Services to resign has prompted accusations that she’s violating a 2017 law requiring the state to disclose why it has fired employees or officials.

Reynolds was lieutenant governor and stood by then Gov. Terry Branstad when he signed the disclosure bill into law. Branstad had pushed for the bill, which Republicans included in a larger collective bargaining bill that reduced union rights for 180,000 public workers.

But after asking DHS Director Jerry Foxhoven to resign June 17, Reynolds has declined to specify the reason other than saying “there are several factors that went into this decision and I made the decision to go in a different direction.”

On Thursday, Foxhoven said he would file a whistleblower claim with the State Appeal Board, the first step toward pursuing a lawsuit against Reynolds and the state.

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