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Top Iowa energy official abruptly fired without explanation

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A top energy policy official in Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's administration has been abruptly fired without official explanation.

The termination of Paritosh Kasotia, the team lead in the state energy office, stunned colleagues who call her a well-respected and committed energy expert.

Iowa Economic Development Authority spokeswoman Tina Hoffman said Wednesday that Kasotia was informed of the decision Dec. 8 and given two weeks pay.

Hoffman says she can't comment on the reason for the change, but that the agency is re-evaluating the position and planning to post it soon.

Former state colleague Bob Mulqueen says he's "sorely disappointed" in the move, saying Kasotia was very capable.

Gary Steinke called Kasotia a "national leader in alternative energy." He served with her on the advisory council of the Iowa Energy Center.

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