Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has fired Department of Administrative Services Director Mike Carroll.
The decision follows the release of emails that show talks between a dismissed state worker's attorney and the general counsel for D.A.S. that discussed what critics have called "hush money."
The emails show both sides agreed that Carol Frank, who had been relieved of her job, would receive an additional $6,500 in exchange for agreeing to a confidential settlement.
Governor Branstad released the following statement:
“Director Carroll told me that employees were not paid an additional amount in exchange for confidentiality provisions. In light of recent developments, I learned the information presented to me by Director Carroll was not accurate. I am deeply troubled and disappointed by this. As I stated at my press conference Monday, if I learned of new information there would be harsh consequences.
“I terminated Director Carroll today because new facts directly contradict what he told me and what he stated before the Government Oversight Committee. This is unacceptable.
“Confidentiality provisions in personnel settlements should have never been used. The use of such provisions was wrong. Taxpayer dollars should have never been used in relation to confidentiality provisions.
“The citizens of Iowa deserve a government as open and honest as them. Confidentiality provisions run contrary to my priority of an open and transparent government.”
The governor named Janet Phipps the interim director of D.A.S. She currently works as general counsel for the department.