IOWA CITY — Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz allowed three departing political appointees to work from home without completing the required agreements governing such arrangements, his office confirmed Wednesday.
Schultz's office told The Associated Press that it didn't sign "telework agreements" with former chief deputy Jim Gibbons, assistant director of business services Todd Henderson or communications director Stephanie Laudner before allowing them to remain on the payroll while working from home before they resigned.
A state policy requires that all employees who work from home must first execute written agreements with their managers setting the terms and conditions of the arrangements. Those agreements must address eight specific points, including the benefit the state will get from the deal, the duties the employee is expected to perform and the work days and hours of the telework site.
Schultz's office said the Department of Administrative Services advised that those three employees could remain on the payroll from home as long as they were available for phone calls and questions.
"At no time did DAS state that these employees needed a telework plan," the office said in a statement.
DAS spokesman Caleb Hunter said earlier this month that the department only gave Schultz's office general guidance — none involving specific employees — and pointed out the detailed telework policy on the agency's website. He said that Schultz, a Republican who is leaving the office to run for Congress, was ultimately responsible for hiring decisions and the work product of his appointees.
The Associated Press first reported last month that Schultz allowed Gibbons to stay in his job with a $126,000 annual salary for seven months in 2012 after taking away his management responsibilities and eliminating his job. Gibbons stayed home for a month, and then was required to report to the office four days per week for the final six months. It's not clear what, if any, work he did while collecting $80,000 in pay, including a $4,000 payout for unused vacation. Some days he left shortly after arriving.