Hedlund Meeting With Press Today; Expects To File Lawsuit
By Erin Jordan, Reporter
DES MOINES, Iowa -- A fired state investigator will talk with news reporters this afternoon to discuss a pending wrongful termination lawsuit against the state.
Larry Hedlund, who had worked for the Iowa Department of Public Safety for 25 years before he was fired July 17, will hold a press availability at 2 p.m. today in Des Moines. He will be joined by his family and attorney, Tom Duff.
A news release says Hedlund and Duff will address questions regarding a pending lawsuit claiming wrongful termination as well as Hedlund's request for injunction.
Hedlund was fired for insubordination, using a disrespectful tone to his supervisor and driving a state car on his day off, according to a three-page termination letter signed by Chari Paulson, director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
The veteran investigator was put on paid leave May 1, two days after writing an email to his supervisors complaining state troopers did not pull over a speeding SUV that was carrying Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds April 26 on U.S. Highway 20.
Hedlund spotted the SUV driving about 90 mph and reported the car to dispatch.
A trooper who pursued the SUV did not initially know it carried the governor because the car's plates were not listed in computerized files. He aborted the pursuit when he realized the SUV was driven by a fellow trooper.
Branstad and other state officials have said Hedlund's termination was not linked to the complaint. The governor has asked former Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Louis Lavorato to conduct an independent investigation of the incident. The trooper driving the governor was cited for speeding.