Another Top Minnesota DHS Official Resigns


Another high-ranking official at Minnesota’s Department of Human Services has stepped down, making her the second to leave this week alone.

Marie Zimmerman, the assistant commissioner for health care, announced her resignation Friday, The Star Tribune reports. She’s been with the department since 2011, and helped oversee Minnesota’s Medicaid program.

“Since 2011, Maria has been a driving force behind some of the largest and most consequential reforms in Minnesota’s Medicaid program,” said Acting DHS Commissioner Pam Wheelock, whose last day at DHS was Friday. Wheelock was named interim commissioner after Tony Lourey announced his sudden resignation earlier this summer. Gov. Tim Walz has named Jodi Harpstead as Lourey’s permanent replacement.

Deputy Commissioner Claire Wilson, who announced and then rescinded her resignation in July, once again decided to step down earlier this week.

Some lawmakers are calling the current state of affairs at DHS a “dumpster fire” as it continues to deal with allegations of fraud, leadership turnover, $73 million in improper payments, and more.

A pair of GOP state representatives sent a letter to Gov. Walz this week requesting an “independent audit of DHS spending” following revelations that the department owes the federal government up to $73 million.

“Taken together, these two instances alone will cost Minnesota taxpayers $73 million. The dysfunction at the Department of Human Services has reached a fever-pitch with news coming almost daily about resignations, improper payments, or cultural problems within the agency. It does not need to continue like this,” State Reps. Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River) and Deb Kiel (R-Crookston) wrote in their letter, as The Minnesota Sun reported.

“We need to address these issues head on to avoid continued government waste while ensuring that we are focused on the needs of Minnesotans,” their letter concluded.

According to The Star Tribune, a Minnesota Senate panel is scheduled to hold a hearing next week about the ongoing issues at DHS.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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