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Head of Iowa Veterans Home resigns

DES MOINES (AP) — The head of the Iowa Veterans Home resigned Tuesday, several months after former employees criticized his leadership to lawmakers and the governor defended his work.

Gov. Terry Branstad said in a news release that he's accepted Commandant David Worley's resignation. It becomes effective Wednesday, and Gen. Jodi Tymeson, the home's chief operating officer, will take over the job. She was formerly the head of the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

Worley said in a resignation letter that he wanted to seek other opportunities. He didn't elaborate on his next move, though added it was with "a solemn sense of respect and gratitude for the Iowa Veterans Home that I will be stepping down."

Worley has been commandant of the Iowa Veterans Home since 2010. He came under fire in May, when former staffers criticized his leadership during a state Senate hearing. Employees said top managers of the home treated staff poorly and were not providing good care to veterans.

At the time, Worley defended his work and invited lawmakers to come visit the home. At least one lawmaker said the accusations against him were so serious that he should be put on leave.

Branstad defended Worley and said he would remain on duty. Branstad also said a newly created chief operating position, which was appointed to Tymeson shortly after the hearing, did not show a lack of confidence in Worley.

The veterans home in Marshalltown is the state's largest nursing home and among the biggest in the nation for veterans and their spouses.