From Suboxone to “troubling dysfunction,” a guide to discerning how DHS sent $29 million in excess payments to two tribal nations, and where things go from here.
The newly christened commissioner of the Department of Human Services, Jodi Harpstead, had been on the job for a day and a half when she made her first appearance before a panel of state senators who oversee her agency.
Among other things, lawmakers wanted to know why former DHS head Tony Lourey resigned, and when an investigation into department Inspector General Carolyn Ham would be done.
Jodi Harpstead’s background stands in contrast to that of Walz’s initial choice to run the Department of Human Services, former state Sen. Tony Lourey, who abruptly resigned last month.
Gov. Tim Walz rejected suggestions that the department is in chaos, citing the willingess of Pam Wheelock to take on the job. “I don’t think that acting Commissioner Wheelock saw an agency in crisis,” he said. “I think she saw an agency at a transition point.”
“Because we expanded our coverage in two stages, we didn’t see a huge change in demand for mental health services in 2014,” said Glenace Edwall of DHS.