Fired Criminal Investigator Pays Ticket Issued To Branstad's Driver

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

A former Iowa criminal investigator who was removed from duty after complaining about Gov. Terry Branstad's speeding SUV has paid the speeding ticket issued to the state trooper driving the vehicle.

Larry Hedlund was a special agent with the Division of Criminal Investigation. He paid the $181.50 ticket issued to Steve Lawrence, the trooper who was driving Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds in the governor's SUV on April 26th. The vehicle was clocked by a deputy traveling 84 mph in a 65-mph zone on Highway 20.

Hedlund, who maintains he was fired in retaliation for complaining about the governor's speeding vehicle, said Saturday that he paid Lawrence's ticket because Branstad "had no intention of stepping up and doing so." Hedlund sent an email to Lawrence saying his complaint "was never intended to hurt you or cost you."

Friday, the governor appointed former state Supreme Court justice Louis Lavarato to review Hedlund's firing. The move came as a surprise since Branstad had defended Hedlund's firing and denied retaliation.

Hedlund pursued the governor's speeding SUV and called the Iowa State Patrol. Troopers backed off after learning the vehicle was being driven by a fellow trooper. Hedlund was fired last week for what the Department of Public Safety called unbecoming conduct.

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