Iowa trooper on leave for inappropriate email - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa trooper on leave for inappropriate email

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -- An Iowa State Trooper is on paid leave Thursday after forwarding an inapropriate email from his work computer.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety announced Friday that on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, it was made aware of the inappropriate email.

A news release says the email appears to have been forwarded on January 16, 2009, by Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Rodney Hicok to colleagues both inside and outside the Department of Public Safety. The email makes disparaging remarks about 15 people in mug shots.

"It is our understanding the original picture was posted on thesmokinggun.com website prior to a link being forwarded to the Iowa Department of Public Safety." the news release stated.

IDPS says the people shown in the photograph are all wearing Barack Obama t-shirts. It appears that the email was forwarded using a state email account and on state time which is a violation of departmental policy.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety's Professional Standards Bureau is conducting a full investigation. Sergeant Hicok is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

"I am deeply disappointed if a sworn peace officer with the Iowa State Patrol forwarded this email. This department will take swift action at the conclusion of the investigation if there is evidence of wrongdoing," Commissioner Eugene T. Meyer said,

Colonel Patrick J. Hoye, Chief of the Iowa State Patrol also expressed concern. "As the agency that is charged with enforcing laws and protecting the public, State Troopers are held to a higher standard," said Colonel Hoye.

Online Producer: JJ Murray

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