Walz needs to explain what exactly is going on

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is the state’s second-biggest department, behind only Education, with a budget of $18 billion and 6,800 employees. It is complex, covering a wide range of services from medical assistance, to day cares to child care assistance. It is, according to a recent Legislative Auditor’s report, an agency that is susceptible to fraud and waste.

So the revolving door changes in leadership at DHS should be of concern to Minnesotans, and should be explained by Gov. Tim Walz.

Recently, two of the top deputy commissioners in DHS announced their were resigning. Then last Monday, DHS Commissioner Tony Lourey resigned suddenly, after a mere six months on the job. According to Walz, Lourey felt he wasn’t right to lead the department. On Wednesday, the two deputy commissioners rescinded their resignations. Then Lourey’s chief of staff resigned.

In the meantime, department Inspector General Carolyn Ham, who was put on paid leave in March to allow investigation of an active complaint against her, has been collecting her pay ($42,000 so far) while waiting for the investigation to start. It apparently started only recently, after her situation was reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Nobody is offering much in the way of real explanations as to what is going on.

So Gov. Walz has some explaining to do. It’s time for some answers.


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