Governor Tom Vilsack has gotten rid of a third of his state agencydirectors, including two women whose leadership of the departments of humanservices and economic development has sparked criticism. Vilsack says he’saccepting the resignations of six department directors to send the messagethat he’s refocusing state government. Vilsack says it’s an “opportunity tostart anew.” Vilsack said the day after his re-election to a second termthat changes would be made, and he announced the departures yesterdayafternoon. Vilsack says the “transition period” between terms is anopportunity to “reassess, re-evaluate, and reinvigorate” efforts.Vilsack asked for and received resignations from Department of HumanServices director Jesse Rasmussen who was repeatedly criticized byRepublican legislators, almost from the moment she took the job four yearsago. Vilsack’s Republican opponent also promised to install a new leader atthe Department of Economic Development, where Vilsack has now jettisoneddirector C.J. Niles. Vilsack refused to talk about why certain directorswere let go. Vilsack says the “individuals have worked hard, but now, ratherthan looking back” he wants to “look forward..with energy.” Vilsack, ademocrat, is keeping a dozen state agency directors, three of whom wereagency leaders under Vilsack’s Republican predecessor, Terry Branstad.Vilsack also got rid of two key law enforcement leaders: Department ofCorrections director W.J. Kautzky and State Drug Czar Bruce Upchurch. Thedirectors of the Department of General Services and Information Technologywere also let go.
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