Committee Schedules Secret Settlements Session

By Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate Government Oversight Committee intends to question under oath a number of current and former top state government administrators about confidential settlement agreements.

Committee chairwoman Janet Petersen, a Des Moines Democrat, says she’s determined to find out who authorized payments for secrecy to former state workers.

More than 320 state workers have entered settlement agreements since Gov. Terry Branstad returned as governor in 2011. Some were asked to sign confidentiality agreements and were paid to keep quiet. No one has ever taken responsibility for authorizing the agreements.

Subpoenaed to testify Wednesday are former Iowa Department of Administrative Services attorney Ryan Lamb and the agency’s fired director, Mike Carroll.

Also called are the department’s former chief operating officer, Doug Woodley, who resigned last month, and current director Janet Phipps.

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