One of the men who testified before the Legislative Oversight Committee about secret settlements made to fired state workers has resigned.
General Services Enterprise Chief Operating Officer Doug Woodley’s resignation has been accepted by the interim Director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services Janet Phipps.
She released this statement Tuesday, “I have accepted Mr. Woodley’s resignation from his position at the Department of Administrative Services. I wish him well in his future endeavors. Two experienced leaders within the department will oversee the General Services Enterprise until a successor is identified.”
Department of Administration Services Director Mike Carroll was fired in April after emails came to light showing money was paid to fired state workers to keep quiet. That contradicted what Carroll had previously told lawmakers.
State Senator Janet Petersen, the oversight chair and Des Moines Democrat, had called for Woodley and top DAS official Paul Carlson to be placed on unpaid administrative leave. She also asked Governor Branstad to bring in the state police to secure and seize relevant DAS documents. Branstad refused.
Woodley during his testimony to lawmakers had admitted, “Potentially, yes, sir,” when asked if federal dollars appropriated to state agencies could have been used to pay the hush money.
Woodley’s resignation adds yet another development to the scandal that has consumed much of the talk at the Iowa Statehouse for more than two months.
The governor has maintained neither he nor anyone on the governor’s staff knew about hush money payments.
Democratic lawmakers have pledged to keep oversight hearings going into the summer as they continue to search for the original source who came up with the idea to expand efforts to give confidential agreements to state workers, along with paying some extra money in exchange for their silence.
When asked whether Woodley quit or got fired, the governor said, “I don’t know. I don’t believe in micromanaging.”
But a D.A.S. spokesman said Phipps told Woodley Monday he could resign and Woodley did.
State Senator Matt McCoy, an oversight member and Des Moines Democrat said his committee wants Woodley to testify, perhaps, in early June. McCoy said Carroll and Woodley’s departures from the department still don’t answer the question of whether there was a mastermind behind the decision to give workers hush money and confidential settlements.