The high-ranking DCI agent at the center of the governor’s speeding SUV incident released details about the complaint he made to his supervisors before he was suspended from duty.
In April Agent Larry Hedlund spotted an SUV speeding on Highway 20 east of I-35. Hedlund began pursuit of the vehicle and reported it to the Iowa State Patrol.
When a trooper caught up to the vehicle, he discovered it was the governor’s SUV being driven by another trooper.
The governor’s vehicle was not pulled over despite being clocked at 84mph.
After the incident, Hedlund emailed a complaint to his superiors against the troopers involved and himself.
Hedlund released that email to the media Wednesday.
In it he says he understands the trooper’s decision to not pull over the governor’s vehicle but he says the three speeding vehicles driven by law enforcement agents, including himself, endangered everyone else on the road that day.
“I completely understand his decision to utilize his discretion. The governor is the most powerful person in the state and has almost absolute power over many important issues directly impacting the Department of Public Safety.”
Hedlund writes that should be the main concern for officers no matter who is riding in the backseat.
“This Department can’t afford to ignore what apparently is a common practice that puts the general public in danger. Regardless of what dignitaries might be in the back seat of the speeding vehicle, it is still against the law.”
Hedlund added, “I don’t believe the governor of Iowa is above the laws of the state of Iowa.”
Governor Branstad says he was not aware the incident was happening while he was in the vehicle.
Former governor and current US agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack described the incident in an interview with Channel 13 as an “unfortunate situation.”
Hedlund is on administrative leave and the action of the two state troopers involved in the incident are also under review.