ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) – Republicans say there’s a fundamental problem at the state Human Services Department after two top officials and now Commissioner Tony Lourey (LOR-ee) announced their resignations in the space of less than a week.

Governor Walz says he did *not* fire Lourey and it was his decision to resign.

“This is a dedicated public servant, who I think looked at this and said it’s going to take a little different leadership style,” said Walz.

Republicans were quick to point to the problems with the Child Care Assistance Program and issues in other areas yesterday.

“It might just be the case the DHS is just too big of an entrenched bureaucracy even for someone with Tony Lourey’s experience to transform,” said Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake).

She adds that it’s time to “take a radical look” at how the state Human Services Department is structured.

Pam Wheelock was appointed by Gov. Walz to replace Lourey yesterday. She will take over as the acting Commissioner effective today.