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Democratic Leaders Call on Governor to Expand Investigation of Iowa Finance Authority

April 30, 2018 10:27 am by: Category: Featured, Recent News Leave a comment A+ / A-

The leaders of the Iowa House and Senate Democrats today called on Governor Kim Reynolds to expand the independent investigation of David Jamison and the Iowa Finance Authority.

“The fallout from the firing of David Jamison should be a wakeup call to you.  David Jamison’s disgusting behavior and the failure of key staffers in your Administration to address the problem over a period of years highlight the alarming fact that executive branch employees are afraid to report illegal and highly inappropriate behavior,” said Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen of Des Moines.

The letter signed by the two lawmakers outlined 12 key points that must be included in the scope of the investigation.  Some of the key points include: the victim’s concerns about retaliation; misinformation provided by the Reynolds Administration; the long delay in calling for the independent investigation; an examination of the lease agreement with Hubbell Realty; and a full audit and analysis of expenses and reimbursement to David Jamison including the slush fund used by key executives without oversight.

“The graphic letter sent to you by a victim of Jamison’s alleged misconduct highlights systemic issues that need to be addressed.  While the investigation is a step in the right direction, the scope of the review is far too narrow,” said House Democratic Leader Mark Smith of Marshalltown.  “Given more information revealed this weekend by a whistleblower who was fired, the investigation must include an audit of IFA’s finances as well.  The harassment, retaliation, and financial mismanagement in your Administration have created a culture of corruption that must end.”

Last fall, Iowa taxpayers were forced to foot the bill for a $1.75 million settlement in Kirsten Anderson’s lawsuit against Iowa Senate Republicans and an internal review later found that employees were afraid to report harassment.

“Even after the harassment scandal last fall, the Jamison case proves the culture in your Administration has not changed to protect victims or Iowa taxpayers.  It’s not enough to keep saying you have a zero tolerance policy. Your entire Administration needs to take anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies seriously and to stop protecting friends who you hired to work for Iowa taxpayers,” Petersen added.

April 30, 2018

Honorable Kim Reynolds
Governor
State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319

 

Dear Governor Reynolds:

The fallout from the firing of David Jamison should be a wakeup call to you and other state leaders.  There is a reckoning in our country on the issue of workplace harassment. You have a choice: Do something serious to address this problem in your Administration or be on the wrong side of history.

David Jamison’s disgusting behavior and the failure of key staffers in your Administration to address the problem over a period of years highlight the alarming fact that executive branch employees are afraid to report illegal and highly inappropriate behavior.

Sadly, this is not the first time this has happened during your administration.

After Iowa taxpayers were forced to foot the bill for a $1.75 million settlement in Kirsten Anderson’s lawsuit against Iowa Senate Republicans, an internal review found that Senate staffers were afraid to report harassment.

The Iowa Senate and the Iowa House took steps this legislative session to make the Iowa Capitol a safer and healthier work environment. The Senate updated its Harassment Prevention Policy and the Code of Ethics, allowing complainants to request an external investigator.  Republican leaders in the House and Senate jointly hired a new Human Resources Director.

At the same time, we made it clear that policies and training are not enough to protect employees. Every legislator and staffer must take anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies seriously and work to enforce them. Most importantly, it requires leaders to speak out and create a safer culture.

The graphic letter sent to you by a victim of Jamison’s alleged misconduct highlights systemic issues that need to be addressed at the Iowa Finance Authority, Department of Administrative Services and other state agencies.

Your decision to agree to requests for an independent investigation into the David Jamison scandal is a step in the right direction.  However, the scope of the review is too narrow and must include an audit of IFA’s finances as well.

Today, we formally request you expand the scope of the investigation to:

  • — Scrutinize concerns raised in the victim’s letter about how she was afraid to file a complaint with the Governor’s office because of your longtime friendship with Mr. Jamison; as well as her concerns that the Department of Administrative Services would “cover for” David Jamison and she would be retaliated against and fired if she filed a complaint with that agency.
  • — Provide a detailed explanation of why you publicly stated there was no evidence, records or documentation relating to the reasons why David Jamison was fired – when, in fact, you had received a three-page letter from a victim outlining in disturbing detail David Jamison’s harassing behavior.
  • – Determine who made the decision not to conduct a thorough investigation of the Iowa Finance Authority and Department of Administrative Services immediately following the termination of David Jamison.
  • — Determine why the agency’s Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel failed to respond appropriately after witnessing firsthand Dave Jamison’s harassment of staff; and why no disciplinary action was taken against those employees after the victim’s letter was received by the Governor’s office.
  • — Conduct an independent forensic analysis of all expenses and reimbursement David Jamison received during his seven years at the Iowa Finance Authority. This includes travel, lodging, office expenses, etc. This audit should include examining whether taxpayer dollars were used to cover reimbursements for alcohol, gambling expenses or the cost of services he received during visits to “Asian massage parlors,” which was revealed in the victim’s letter.
  • — Conduct a full audit of the $100,000 “slush fund” used by David Jamison and other executives at IFA every year that could be spent without board approval or any oversight.  The audit must include the names of all IFA employees who were authorized to spend money out of the slush fund and who gave approval to use those dollars.
  • — Examine David Jamison’s property lease agreement for IFA with Hubbell Realty and any potential conflicts of interest with the tax credit projects awarded.  Iowa taxpayers should not be forced to pay the bill for crony deals.
  • — Investigate and audit all personal financial accounts, including Paypal or others, that may have been used by IFA employees to collect fees or payments.
  • — Review all Reductions in Force from the Iowa Finance Authority, as well as exit interviews and reasons for employee transfers, demotions, terminations and resignations since January 2011.
  • — Review all whistleblower protections at IFA and determine if any employees, including Deb Flannery, were terminated due to raising questions about potential financial mismanagement.
  • — Release all complaints and disciplinary action against David Jamison since he was appointed Director of the Iowa Finance Authority in December 2010.
  • — Release the total number of harassment complaints brought by all state employees since you took office in 2011.

Finally, to ensure greater public confidence, we request that you release the results of the independent review as soon as it is submitted to your office and the Attorney General’s office.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Janet Petersen                                                Mark Smith

State Senator                                      State Representative

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