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The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. 

PHOTO BY SAIYNA BASHIR

The top human resources official at the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs is on his way out.

Chris Neitzel is leaving after nine months on the job. His last day is Friday, said WDVA spokeswoman Carla Vigue.

"It has nothing to do with any issue at King or here at WDVA. It is purely a career decision. He will be moving to the private sector for an opportunity that fits with his career goals," Vigue said in an email Wednesday.

The departure is one of a series at the state veterans agency since January and comes as Secretary Dan Zimmerman launches a broad human resources initiative at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King to better manage personnel. It also comes in the wake of concerns over spending and the quality of care at the King home raised by an ongoing Cap Times investigation.

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Former department Secretary John Scocos announced his resignation in November and left the job in January. His assistant deputy secretary, Dan Buttery, followed him out a few weeks later. Then last month, Zimmerman announced he was reassigning Jim Knight, the top official at the King home, to a newly created position: fiscal compliance auditor. 

A legislative audit of the King home is expected in the coming weeks. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee ordered the review in September, three weeks after a major Cap Times story about the home.

 

Katelyn Ferral is The Cap Times' public affairs and investigative reporter. She joined the paper in 2015 and previously covered the energy industry for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. She's also covered state politics and government in North Carolina.