Ex-Iowa Agent Hedlund to Ask Agencies for Ruling

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The attorney for a fired Iowa criminal investigator says he plans to temporarily put his client's whistle-blower lawsuit on hold while state agencies determine whether they should hear his claims first.

Attorney Tom Duff is representing former Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Larry Hedlund, who says he was fired for complaining about Gov. Terry Branstad's speeding state vehicle and other officials' misconduct. State officials deny retaliation.

Duff says he's asking the Employment Appeal Board and the Public Employment Relations Board to issue rulings declaring that they don't have to decide Hedlund's claims before they're pursued in the court system. Duff says he wants to avoid an argument by state lawyers that Hedlund didn't exhaust his administrative remedies before suing.

Duff calls his moves "a little hiccup in the road."

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