Ex-worker says Iowa job summits were timed to help governor

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A state employee who helped organize conferences for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ signature jobs program resigned days before the Nov. 6 election, claiming the events were timed to help the governor politically.

Records and testimony obtained by The Associated Press show that April Hughes alleged that she and colleagues at Iowa Workforce Development were pressured to plan and hold regional summits for the Future Ready Iowa program in the weeks before the election.

She resigned effective Oct. 23, saying she was uncomfortable with her “very politically charged” work assignments.

The state hosted 16 summits between Sept. 21 and Oct. 30 that drew leaders from industry, government and education, were promoted by Iowa Workforce Development staff, and included videos featuring Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg.

Iowa Workforce Development is disputing Hughes’ allegations, saying the summits weren’t political.