Carolyn Ham gets a new executive-level job at Minnesota DHS

Carolyn Ham has been moved to a new executive-level job at the DHS after an investigation cleared her of wrongdoing. (Minnesota Department of Human Services)

The state’s former top investigator of child care fraud, Carolyn Ham, has been moved to a new executive-level job at the Department of Human Services after a lengthy investigation cleared her of wrongdoing.

Starting Dec. 30, Ham will be the chief administrative officer and operations director at DHS’s Continuing Care for Older Adults Administration. The position is new; Ham’s predecessor in the role had served as chief administrative officer for two DHS divisions.

Ham’s brief tenure in charge of DHS’s investigative unit ended in controversy. The state’s top investigator found a breakdown in the unit and a lack of coordination between Ham and her investigators.

Shortly thereafter, Ham was put on paid leave because of unspecified complaints. She was paid to sit home under a cloud of uncertainty for four months, before DHS found a human resources job for her in its legal office.

Ham was cleared of wrongdoing after an eight-month investigation, DHS Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said earlier this month. DHS has refused to make details of the investigation public.

She will keep her $132,880 salary from her time as DHS’s inspector general, an agency spokeswoman said. The inspector general’s position will be posted.

Despite the turbulence in her previous office, DHS praised Ham in an email announcing her new role Thursday.

“While inspector general, Carolyn also oversaw several continuous improvement projects in the area,” DHS Assistant Commissioner Daniel Pollock wrote to staff.