WCCO Radio/Mark Freie

Harpstead tapped to lead DHS

Former Lutheran Social Services CEO announced Monday morning

August 12, 2019 - 6:47 am

Governor Walz Monday introduced Lutheran Social Services CEO Jodi Harpstead to lead the Department of Human Services.

"She's clearly a leader," said Walz during a press conference at the state capitol. "She's known for building teams." 

Political analyst Blois Olson reported on the appointment during the WCCO Morning News.

"I'm honored to accept the postion," said Harpstead. "I'm eager to see how my private sector skills can work in the public sector."

DHS is the state's largest agency, with a total budget of $18 billion and over 6,700 employees.

Former commissioner Tony Lourey stepped down earlier this summer.

RELATED: Walz expects more from DHS

Lourey's resignation came after an investigation earlier this year revealed widespread fraud within the daycare program they administer.

That revelation and ensuing investigation has led to the ongoing four-month paid leave of DHS inspector general Carolyn Ham.

Pamela Wheelock has been acting commissioner since Lourey's resignation, and she'll stay on the job until Harpstead's first day on Sept. 3.


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