OVERSIGHT HEARING: Focus On Veterans Home Firing

Iowa lawmakers learned Tuesday their whistleblower protection law isn’t good enough.

A top leader in the ombudsman’s office says contractual agreements with unions and merit workers prevent his office from investigating 93-percent of claims.

“We don’t write the laws. We just follow them at this point. There’s not a lot of folks we can help under that statue,” Assistant State Ombudsman Bert Dalmer said.

Democratic lawmakers spent much of today’s oversight hearing on the investigation into former Iowa Veterans Home Commandant David Worley.

Workers accused Worley of sexually and verbally harassing them. He eventually resigned last year.

Democrats wanted to know what happened after Department of Administrative Services investigators turned over their findings on Worley to the governor’s office.

“The buck stops with the governor. He takes a look at these investigations and the details supplied and that’s the extent of it, right?” State Sen. Matt McCoy asked Human Resources Enterprise COO, Michelle Minnehan.

“I can’t comment on, I don’t want to comment on, I can’t comment on what level of detail was shared with the governor himself. What I can comment on are the discussions I had with the chief of staff. I want to be clear on that.”

Minnehan also denied the governor or his staff ever pressured DAS to back off in its investigation into Worley.

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