Iowa lawmakers are calling on the Government Oversight Committee to expand its investigation into the Branstad Administration today.
“Over the last few weeks, we’ve learned that we can no longer count on the Branstad Administration to provide accurate or timely information to lawmakers or the general public when allegations of misconduct arise,” said Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines (D-Des Moines), Ranking Member of the House Government Oversight Committee. “Our job is to hold the executive branch accountable and make sure it operates with the transparency and openness that Iowans deserve. It’s time for the Legislature to investigate, get to the bottom of these scandals, and restore faith in our state government.”
Lawmakers are filing House Resolution 126 today that would direct the Government Oversight Committee to expand its investigation into the Branstad Administration related to hush money payments, the closing of the Iowa Juvenile Home, do not hire lists, and misconduct at Iowa Workforce Development.
“The people of Iowa deserve an unbiased, full investigation into hush money paid to state workers who were dismissed from their jobs, including firing and hiring practices as well as bonuses. The House should take quick action and give the Government Oversight Committee the tools needed to complete a thorough investigation, including subpoena power and independent legal counsel,” said Rep. Curt Hanson of Fairfield.
If approved by the Iowa House, the House Oversight Committee would be authorized to call witnesses, administer oaths, and issue subpoenas. It also gives the committee power to hire independent legal counsel that would make recommendations for legislative action or prosecution.
“Regardless of party, our job is to find the facts and get to the truth,” said Rep. Vicki Lensing of Iowa City, who has served on the Government Oversight Committee through investigations like the Iowa Film Office, Iowa Association of School Boards, and Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium (CIETC).
Last week, a Branstad official was fired after documents were released that contradicted his testimony and proved state workers were offered hush money payments by the Branstad Administration. Despite claiming it didn’t exist, Branstad officials also released a “do not hire” list of state workers.
Representative Ruth Ann Gaines of Des Moines, Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee
Representative Vicki Lensing of Iowa City, member of the House Oversight Committee
Representative Curt Hanson of Fairfield