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DHS deputy commissioners who quit last week are staying after all

It comes less than a day after the DHS Chief of Staff resigned.
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From left: DHS Chief of Staff Stacie Weeks, Deputy Commissioner Charles Johnson, Deputy Commissioner Claire Wilson.

From left: DHS Chief of Staff Stacie Weeks, Deputy Commissioner Charles Johnson, Deputy Commissioner Claire Wilson.

There's more upheaval at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, with the department's chief of staff out and two deputy commissioners who resigned last week back in.

Minnesota's largest state agency has resembled a revolving door this week, with the planned resignation of deputy commissioners Charles Johnson and Claire Wilson followed by the resignation of DHS Commissioner Tony Lourey on Monday and Chief of Staff Stacie Weeks on Tuesday.

But on Wednesday, it was announced that both Johnson and Wilson have rescinded their resignations, according to a memo sent to staff by interim DHS Commissioner Pam Wheelock.

Wheelock says the pair agreed to stay on at the department after meeting with her, something she said she welcomes "as a way to ensure continuity that will benefit the organization during this transition period."

A reason hadn't been given when Johnson and Wilson announced their intentions to step down last week, though it's worth noting that their decision to stay has only come out after the departure of Lourey and subsequently Weeks.

Weeks' decision to step down comes as little surprise given she was appointed by Lourey to be his chief of staff in February.

She had previously served as the director of public policy and advocacy at Hennepin Healthcare, as well as an earlier stint at the DHS where she was director of health care policy and federal waivers.

"Stacie brought tremendous energy, dedication and productivity to the organization and on behalf of the department I want to thank her and wish her all the best," Wheelock wrote.

The DHS, which accounts for about a third of Minnesota's $50 billion state budget, has been in turmoil since earlier this year, when a report came out criticizing its handling of child care benefit fraud, which subsequently saw the DHS Inspector General Carolyn Ham placed on paid leave while a complaint was investigated.

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