HEDLUND FIRING: Gov. Wants Documents Released
Gov. Terry Branstad says he wants the full 500 page investigation into the firing of DCI Special Agent Larry Hedlund to be released to the public, in order to combat what he says are false accusations of retaliation.
Branstad held a news conference at the capitol Thursday afternoon to discuss the issue. He says he was briefed on the complete investigation Thursday morning.
“I believe the public deserves to know the full truth,” says Branstad.
Hedlund’s lawyer Tom Duff says his client was fired in retaliation for comments he made to his superiors following a speeding incident involving Gov. Branstad’s SUV. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds were passengers in the vehicle at the time and the SUV was being driven by a state trooper.
The incident happened in late April when the SUV was clocked doing 84-miles per hour on Highway 20 near Iowa Falls. Hedlund spotted the vehicle and radioed ahead to an Iowa State Patrol trooper. Once it was determined Branstad was in the vehicle, the pursuit stopped.
Three days after the incident, Hedlund wrote an email to his superior, “I don`t believe the governor is above the law. I don`t believe anyone has the authority to order me to not do my job.”
Hedlund’s termination documents say he engaged in prohibited conduct and was disrespectful to DCI Director Charis Paulson.
Branstad says he’s requested the Iowa Attorney General’s Office attempt to work with Hedlund’s lawyer to obtain permission to release the 500 page internal investigation. Personnel policies prevent the release of the documents without permission.
Hedlund’s lawyer says he hasn’t even seen the report yet, “I’m all in favor of transparency and I am happy to release the 500-page report as soon as I actually have the 500-page report and then have the opportunity to review it,” Tom Duff told Channel 13.
Branstad says at no time was he or anyone from his office involved in the investigation into Hedlund.
Branstad’s detail has also been advised to follow all Iowa traffic laws, including speed limits, unless in cases of emergency.