DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI) –– Governor Kim Reynolds announced she has appointed Kelly Garcia to become the director of the Iowa Department of Human Services.
In a release, the governor’s office said Garcia is currently deputy executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
“I want to thank Interim Director Gerd Clabaugh, the DHS leadership team and the hard working men and women of DHS on their work over the last few months,” Reynolds said. “They’ve done a remarkable job of keeping the focus on serving the clients of DHS during this transition.”
Garcia is expected to start on November 1.
Garcia has a background in Medicaid oversight, and is replacing ousted director Jerry Foxhoven, who had a background in child welfare.
Foxhoven has filed a $2 million lawsuit, claiming wrongful discharge against the State of Iowa. He claims his firing was done to prevent him from enforcing his legal right to disclose information he believed was illegal.
Reynolds has said Foxhoven never raised such concerns and never asked the staff for a legal opinion.