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The Latest: Ousted Iowa director: Reynolds’ aides lying

August 1, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on former Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven (all times local):

5 p.m.

Ousted Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven says aides to Gov. Kim Reynolds are lying when they say he never objected to paying a portion of the salary of a governor’s staffer out of his budget.

Foxhoven said Thursday he raised the issue more than once and wouldn’t agree to pay most of the salary of the governor’s deputy chief of staff, Paige Thorson, without legal advice. Foxhoven says he thought it might be illegal because Thorson would no longer be doing significant Medicaid work in the new fiscal year, which began July 1.

Reynolds issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying Foxhoven never raised such concerns and never asked the staff for a legal opinion. Reynolds says “I would never ask anyone to do something they thought was illegal.” She says many factors contributed to her decision to seek Foxhoven’s resignation but didn’t list those factors.

Foxhoven is filing a legal claim of wrongful termination, alleging he was the victim of whistleblower retaliation. Foxhoven was asked to step down in June. The 67-year-old administrator gained attention earlier when his frequent workplace praise of the late rapper Tupac Shakur came to light after his firing.

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1 p.m.

Ousted Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven says aides to Gov. Kim Reynolds are lying when they say he never objected to paying the salary of a governor’s staffer out of his budget.

Foxhoven, a 67-year-old legal scholar known for his frequent workplace praise of the late rapper Tupac Shakur, said Thursday he raised the issue more than once and wouldn’t agree to pay most of the salary of the governor’s deputy chief of staff, Paige Thorson, without legal advice.

Foxhoven says he thought it might be illegal because Thorson would no longer be doing significant Medicaid work in the new fiscal year, which began July 1.

Foxhoven is filing a legal claim of wrongful termination, alleging he was the victim of whistleblower retaliation. Foxhoven was asked to step down last month.

Reynolds and her staff deny he raised concerns about the pay issue. A spokesman says Reynolds wasn’t immediately available for comment.

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