Let’s start with some full disclosure: As much as he annoys me on occasion, I like Governor Branstad. I especially like Lt. Governor Reynolds. So it’s a little hard for me to be critical of them over an issue that is something of a tempest in a teapot. Nonetheless, I think they’ve handled this speeding incident about as badly as it could have been handled.
First, this could have been put to rest immediately simply by apologizing immediately. An investigation or review into the incident is pointless (no one disputes the Governor’s SUV was speeding), and just drags the matter out and makes Branstad and Reynolds look bad. Reynolds’ remarks on Monday weren’t helpful. They keep “an ambitious” schedule? I’ll try using that excuse the next time I get pulled over.
Second, and I have no idea who was the genius ultimately behind this, why was DCI agent Larry Hedlund placed on administrative leave after making a complaint to his supervisors? If the action was truly taken over an unrelated matter, why wasn’t the action taken with different timing? Those who did this have the management skills of a 5 year old in a sandbox.
If Branstad and Reynolds were unaware that the trooper was driving that fast, they can say so but they need to apologize anyway along with a commitment that it won’t happen again.
It’s what they should have done a long time ago.