Former DCI agent's attorney calls the investigation against Hedl - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Former DCI agent's attorney calls the investigation against Hedlund a "witchhunt"

Former DCI agent's attorney calls the investigation against Hedlund a "witchhunt"

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

The story behind a DCI agent’s termination will most likely play out in court because the 500-page report outlining the termination of former DCI Special Agent Larry Hedlund will not be released to the public.

Hedlund’s leave of absence happened days after the agent encouraged a state trooper to pull over the Governor’s speeding SUV, and while Hedlund says he was fired because he spoke up about the speeding case, officials said last week that the complaints filed against Hedlund were filed before “long before this incident.”

The document became the center of the controversy last week when Governor Terry Branstad told the press that Hedlund’s firing would not be suspicious if the public could read this report, but that report could’t be released without Hedlund’s attorney Thomas Duff’s permission.

"Personnel exemption protection is there to protect the individual employee in this case that person,” Branstad said. Then he continued to say that Hedlund and his attorney were “using this as a weapon to make false accusations against the department of public safety and I believe the public has a right and the public should be able to see all the facts.”

Friday Duff told the Des Moines Register that the report was “manufactured” and “slanderous”, and in a statement to the press said, “The investigation was not done by an independent third-party, but by the Professional Standards Bureau which is part of the Department of Public Safety.

One of the witnesses interviewed stated that "it kind of seems like a witch hunt." We couldn't agree more."

This reaction came the same days as Governor Terry Branstad’s announcement that former Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Louis Lavarato would review the document.

“Justice Lavarato is a very fair person, but he will not have access to all the facts by reading manufactured one-sided report,” Duff said. “The best place for all the facts of this case to be brought to light is the Iowa courts where both parties are able to present their evidence. There is no more impartial, transparent process in this state that our courts. That is where our evidence and the contents of this manufactured report will be laid out for a judge, jury, and the public, to see–not before that.”

Duff also questioned if the Governor was violating public records laws by releasing this report to the former justice.

“We are researching the issue and may file an injunction early next week to prevent the release of file or to have the file returned if it has already been disclosed,” Duff said.

On Thursday, the Iowa state trooper involved finally received a speeding ticket for the April incident. State Trooper Steven Lawrence. He paid a fine of $181.50 for the ticket, which was written by an Iowa State Patrol major.

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