(Des Moines, IA) Iowa Governor Terry Branstad yesterday released the following statement in response to the report, found here, issued by former Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Lou Lavorato following his independent review, which concluded the governor’s office in no way interfered with the investigation into former Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation Agent Larry Hedlund, and that his dismissal was not a product of retaliation by the governor’s office:
“This independent review was thorough, with full access to all documents and individuals, and complete cooperation from my office and administration. This report demonstrates that my office in no way interfered with, nor directed, the investigation into Larry Hedlund.
“This report conclusively shows allegations about the governor, governor’s office and retaliation are absolutely false.
“I want to thank former Chief Justice Lou Lavorato for generously giving his time and hard work to conduct this independent review, because I believe Iowans deserve to know the truth from an objective source.”
Hedlund when fired accused Governor Branstad of retaliation since he clocked the Governor’s vehicle, driven by an Iowa State Patrol officer, going 90 miles per hour. The driver later received a ticket.
In the report, former Chief Justice Lou Lavorato states:
As far as the Governor’s office is concerned, I interviewed everyone employed in his office, including the Governor and Lt. Governor. From these interviews and the documentation that I reviewed, I conclude no one in the Governor’s office directed or interfered with the Internal Affairs’ investigation or took part in the decision to terminate Mr. Hedlund’s employment.
The Governor’s position, which I determined was painstakingly followed by his staff, was to have a “hands off” approach to the investigation and decision to terminate Mr. Hedlund’s employment.
Moreover, there was nothing in the Internal Affairs’ report or documents and electronic messages that the DPS provided me that indicated any one in the Governor’s office had directed or interfered with the investigation or took part in the decision to terminate Mr. Hedlund’s employment.
Moreover, I found no direct evidence that those who took part in the investigation and in the decision to terminate Mr. Hedlund’s employment retaliated against him for his activities in reporting the speeding violation.