- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Another top official at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services has resigned, the agency said Tuesday.

The announcement of the resignation of Doug Woodley came from the state agency’s interim director, Janet Phipps.

“I have accepted Mr. Woodley’s resignation from his position at the Department of Administrative Services,” she said in a brief email statement. “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.”

Woodley was the chief operating officer of General Services Enterprise, a department within the DAS responsible for statewide architectural and engineering project management services for state construction projects, operating the state’s fleet of vehicles, providing mail to state agencies and maintaining the state buildings around the Iowa Capitol. The agency also handles purchasing for most executive branch agencies.

Woodley was one of the officials called to appear before the Government Oversight Committee in April after a group of former employees claimed he was one of the administrators hired in 2011 as Gov. Terry Branstad took office. One former employee who worked for Woodley, Ken Thornton, said Woodley was disrespectful and forced him to write out his own job description so Woodley could replace him.

Thornton said Woodley replaced some of the fired workers with friends from previous jobs.

Woodley denied the allegations when he testified before the Senate Oversight Committee with his boss, Mike Carroll, on April 3. Woodley was one of the administrators who came in to the agency under Carroll, a Branstad appointee.

Carroll was fired by Branstad on April 8, five days after Carroll had testified at an oversight committee meeting that the state had not offered former workers payments to remain silent about settlement agreements they’d negotiated with the state. A former employee came forward proving she had been offered money for secrecy causing Branstad to reverse his earlier support for Carroll.

Records show more than 320 state workers have entered settlement agreements since Branstad returned as governor in 2011. More than two dozen in the executive branch were asked to sign confidentiality agreements, with the total paid out exceeding $500,000.

Woodley returned for more questioning before the oversight committee on April 14.

Senate Government Oversight Committee Chairwoman Janet Petersen said she thinks Woodley’s sudden departure shows “there are still some serious issues within state government that we’re working through.”

“We’re going to continue our investigation. Clearly as you could tell from our previous hearings we had some concerns about his involvement in some issues going on in state government - cronyism and some of the sweetheart deals,” said Petersen, a Des Moines Democrat.

Branstad, a Republican, has said the committee’s continued pursuit is politically motivated.

A home telephone number for Woodley could not be located.

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