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DeWine Faces Questions On Challenges Finding New Health Director

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is getting questions about why his pick for state health director turned down the job, after she cited concerns about potential harassment as the reason for withdrawing from the role.

Dr. Joan Duwve told a news outlet in South Carolina, where she was leading a state health agency, that she did not want to become Ohio's next health director because of the harassment former director, Dr. Amy Acton, went through.  

DeWine says his administration was open with Duwve about the demonstrations that occurred at Acton's house earlier in the pandemic. 

He was asked if he thinks concerns about harassment could discourage future candidates.  

"If the question is can we find a person to serve, who's a very good person to serve as health director. The answer is certainly, yes," says DeWine. 

DeWine says the heavy scrutiny of public health officials is not just an Ohio issue, but happening around the country. 

He added that, to his knowledge, no one else has been offered the job only to turn it down out of concerns about potential harassment.

Acton stepped down from the position of health director in June. DeWine is also looking to fill the vacancy of the state's medical officer.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.