An Iowa special agent plans to sue the state, saying he was fired from the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation after a 25-year career because he filed a complaint about the governor’s SUV speeding.
Larry Hedlund, 55, told the Des Moines Register that he is planning to sue.
“I’ve been treated like a criminal,” he said. “The best analogy I can give you is that they investigated me like I was a murderer, and in the process they murdered my career.”
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State officials released paperwork saying Hedlund was fired for sending “negative and disrespectful messages” about the organization’s leaders through email, for misusing a state car in April, and for being untruthful about his work status, The Associated Press said
The Register reported that Hedlund made $96,518 in 2012 and had no previous discipline issues in his file.
The special agent was suspended for two days after formally submitting a complaint to his supervisors that he failed to do more to stop Gov. Terry Branstad’s vehicle in April. The Register got access to recordings that occurred when Hedlund asked state troopers to stop a Tahoe he saw speeding. At the time, Hedlund was unaware it was the governor’s SUV, the newspaper said.
When a trooper caught up to the vehicle, he discovered it was the governor’s car. Hedlund emailed a complaint to his supervisor about the incident.
Hedlund told the Des Moines Register that one of his supervisors told him, “This is not right. This is not how it’s done. But this is what the commissioner said to do.”
The state insisted Hedlund was not fired for sending that email, but because of other emails he sent to people working under him complaining about policy changes at DCI, the Register said.
Hedlund told the newspaper that he was sometimes passionate and outspoken when disagreeing with supervisors, but while he expected a discussion about his attitude, he never expected to be fired.
The AP article reported that Branstead has drawn some criticism for speeding, and he has said his administration would review his schedule so that doesn’t happen.
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