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Official At Center of Secret Settlements Resigns

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A Department of Administrative Services official who had been questioned about payments made to former state employees has abruptly resigned.
   Agency chief operating officer Doug Woodley resigned effective Monday.
   Agency interim director Janet Phipps announced the resignation in an email sent to department employees late Monday afternoon.
   Phipps thanked Woodley for his service but didn't offer details about his departure.
   Woodley was questioned last month by a legislative committee that is investigating payments made to state employees who agreed to keep quiet about settlement agreements.
   More than 320 state workers have entered settlement agreements to leave their jobs since Gov. Terry Branstad returned as governor in 2011. More than two dozen were asked to sign confidentiality agreements, with the total paid out exceeding $500,000.

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