“Here’s the difference,” Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal said Thursday morning. “The Branstad administration paid people to shut the hell up!”
Gronstal said confidential agreements given to dismissed state workers were different during Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s administration than those used for workers during former Democratic Governor Chet Culver’s time in office.
Gronstal maintained the eight agreements during Culver’s administration were simple departure agreements when it had become apparent the workers weren’t the proper fit for their office.
They didn’t include offers for additional money, “hush money” as Democrats allege, that workers were offered during Branstad’s tenure so they wouldn’t reveal what was happening in state government.
Records show workers signed 24 confidential settlements during Branstad’s most recent term as governor.
Gronstal made his comments before a legislative government oversight hearing.
Department of Administrative Services Director Mike Carroll spent nearly two hours answering lawmakers’ questions during that hearing. He denied hush money was used.
Carroll also revealed that not only did administrations of Branstad and Culver use confidentiality clauses, but so did former Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack’s, as well.