Iowa House democratic lawmakers are calling on the Government Oversight Committee to expand its investigation of the Branstad Administration.
State Representatives want to further investigate the confidential settlements of state workers, the closing of the Iowa Juvenile Home, do not hire lists and alleged misconduct at Iowa Workforce Development.
Lawmakers filing House Resolution 126 say it would allow the committee to call witnesses, administer oaths and issue subpoenas. The committee would also be able to hire independent legal counsel to recommend legislative action or prosecution.
The announcement came as the Senate Oversight Committee held a hearing looking into confidential settlement agreements.
Governor Branstad called the move “partisanship at its worst.”
However, Rep. Pat Murphy disagreed. “Let everybody in the Executive Branch come clean with what they know instead of us having people before the Oversight Committee and then finding out a day or two later because somebody comes forward that we found out that they lied. It’s wrong for the governor to just call this politics. It’s wrong.”
State GOP Chair Danny Carroll responded by making a request of his own. Carroll says he wants to determine if the investigation is politically motivated.
Carroll requested documents and emails sent between senators Janet Petersen, Matt McCoy and Jack Hatch that include the words “hush money,” “settlements,” or “campaign” among others.
In a statement Carroll wrote, “It strikes me as disingenuous for Democrats to launch a partisan investigation while hiding behind ‘legislative privilege’ to never release their own communications.”