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The communications director for Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate did not violate any policies of Iowa or the Secretary of State’s office when she took pictures of herself in the office dressed as the devil.

According to Michael Ross, the Deputy Secretary of State, Ashley Hunt’s photo as the devil in the office was taken in a public space when Hunt was not on state time.

“Their choice of content and use on their personal social media platform is in alignment with the State of Iowa Social Media Policy,” Ross said.

Ross quoted the policy as saying:

“Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted or applied as limiting an employee’s right to engage in speech protected by the United States and Iowa Constitution.”

Pate was “unaware” of the personal photo until it was brought to his attention, Ross added.

“Secretary Pate has full confidence in his staff,” Ross said. “No picture that is taken in our public office is an endorsement by the Secretary or the agency.”

Ross compared the photo of Pate’s employee dressed as the devil to a photo of candidates filing for office.

While Ross claims the photo was not taken on work time, it appears Hunt is wearing her state employee identification badge in the photo.

The photo was posted on Oct. 31, 2023. That was a Tuesday. Nothing in the photo



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