Iowa Agent In Speeding SUV Case Opposed Job Restructuring

STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, DES MOINES

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By Richard Pratt

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The investigator put on leave shortly after complaining about Gov. Terry Branstad's speeding SUV had clashed with superiors about other policy matters, including a possible restructuring that could have affected his job.

Special Agent in Charge Larry Hedlund noted in an April 30 e-mail to Division of Criminal Investigation Director Chari Paulson that he was opposing an idea to reduce the number of DCI's geographic zones from four to three. Hedlund was in charge of one of the zones, overseeing the DCI's work in northeastern Iowa.

He wrote that he and other zone supervisors accepted new assignments "in exchange for your willingness to propose" staying at four zones. He says he'd asked DCI Assistant Director Gerard Meyers not to hold the issue "like a hammer over our heads."

Also Monday, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds says the Iowa Department of Public Safety is reviewing the governor's scheduling in the wake of the speeding incident.

Reynolds says Monday that she and Gov. Terry Branstad want to obey state speed limits. Reynolds says she was not aware that a state SUV carrying her and the governor on April 26 was going 84 mph because she was working in the backseat.

Reynolds says the schedule is under review to make sure enough time is provided between events. But she declined to blame tight scheduling for any speeding in the past.

A state police investigator reported the speeding incident, but a trooper who caught up to the SUV let it go after realizing it was an officer driving the governor.

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