Embattled Iowa DHS Director Chuck Palmer Resigns

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Chuck Palmer (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa – The head of Iowa’s Department of Human Services is resigning.

In a news release, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Iowa DHS Director Chuck Palmer will retire, effective June 16th.

Palmer has faced harsh criticism and calls from some Iowa lawmakers to resign in light of the cases of Natalie Finn and Sabrina Ray. The cases, though separate, are eerily similar. The adoptive parents of each teen are facing charges related to the teens’ deaths and other adoptive siblings that were in their homes at the time of their deaths.

Sabrina Ray weighed just 56 pounds at the time of her death earlier this month in Perry. Autopsy results showed signs of “severe malnourishment.”

Natalie Finn was found lying on the floor in a bare room unresponsive and not breathing in October of 2016.  She was also wearing an adult diaper and appeared to have been in her own waste for quote, “some time.”

“Chuck has been a dedicated public servant who has spent his life trying to improve the lives of Iowans,” Gov. Reynolds said. “He has been instrumental in modernizing our Medicaid program, implementing our Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, and launching our Mental Health and Disability redesign, while helping individuals and families achieve safe, stable, self-sufficient and healthy lives. I want to wish him well as he enjoys his retirement with his wife and family.”