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DHS deputy commissioners rescind resignations after acting commissioner named

Updated: July 17, 2019 06:26 PM

After the top three officials in the Minnesota Department of Human Services submitted their resignations in a span of just a few days, the two deputy commissioners have rescinded their resignations and will remain in their roles.

A message from Acting Commissioner Pam Wheelock obtained by KSTP Wednesday said deputy commissioners Chuck Johnson and Claire Wilson have rescinded their resignations, which were initially reported Thursday.

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The message said, "We are working hard to bring stability to the department and to ensure our important work continues," and adds, "I thank Chuck and Claire for their willingness to continue their leadership roles during my tenure."


More from KSTP:

Lourey out as Walz's Department of Human Services commissioner

DHS deputy commissioners announce resignations


It comes after Human Services Commissioner Tony Lourey resigned Monday, just six months after being appointed.

Governor Tim Walz said Monday, "I think a very candid and I think a very raw letter from Commissioner Lourey simply acknowledged that he was the wrong person to lead this agency at this time." No explanations were given for any of the resignations.

"I've never seen this type of upheaval in such a short time span with such limited information being provided back to the legislature," said. Rep. Nick Zerwas, an Elk River Republican.

The email from Wheelock also confirmed that Chief of Staff Stacie Weeks resigned from her position.

Teddy Tschann, a spokesperson for Gov. Walz, issued the following statement to KSTP on Wednesday:

"The Governor is focused on ensuring the Department of Human Services is successfully delivering essential services to Minnesotans. That's why he appointed an acting commissioner with extensive public and private management experience to provide guidance at this important agency. He is pleased that the two deputy commissioners have decided to stay for the time being, so that there is a stable leadership team in place to manage through the transition to a permanent commissioner. The Governor will continue working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to ensure the agency is functioning as effectively as possible."

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