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Iowa Board Boss Cites Hiring Pressure from Administration

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The chairman of the state's Public Employment Relations Board says aides to Gov. Terry Branstad pressured the board to hire a friend of the administration.

The Des Moines Register reports that the pressure was part of the administration's effort to stack the deck against public employee complaints.

Board Chairman Jim Riordan told the Register that Branstad's former chief of staff, Jeff Boeyink, and current staff attorney, Brenna Findley, threatened to cut the board budget if the board didn't make the hire. The board did so, hiring former Polk County District Court Judge Robert Wilson to be an administrative law judge.

Boeyink didn't return calls for comment. Findley referred calls to Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers. Centers' response didn't directly touch on whether Branstad aides had pressured the Employment Relations Board.

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