Investigative reporter at The Des Moines Register

The judge and the comma — DES MOINES | Iowa's public records law lists 67 exemptions when records may be withheld. The investigative file exemption has historically been viewed to be applicable to ongoing cases and specifically to the report itself, not public records that were gathered as part of the investigation.

New interpretation forever seals police investigative records — Monica Speaks wants answers about her father's death 30 years ago. But like dozens of other Iowans this year, she was shut down by the Iowa Department of Public Safety. The reason is a controversial and relatively recent interpretation of a 45-year-old Iowa law in which the department claims any document created or collected as part of an investigation can be considered confidential forever.

Audit: ISU director improperly diverted $300,000 — The former director of Iowa State University's Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation improperly diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars to himself or his personal business, according to a special audit released Tuesday. The law center was created in 2006 by the Iowa Board of Regents to provide information and education to agribusiness about legal and taxation matters.

Iowa forfeiture 101 — A: A legal act that allows law enforcement authorities to seize cash or property they believe has a substantial connection to criminal conduct. CONTEXT: The intent of the law is to help destroy the financial base necessary for ongoing illegal activities, particularly large drug rings.

New data show Iowa’s growing take of personal property — Iowa law enforcement agencies confiscate cash, vehicles and real estate from at least 1,000 people each year as part of a state program in which no proof of crime is required before the government lays claim to personal belongings.

Jail for those in Iowa who publish public records? — Some Iowa news organizations have been warned by state or local officials that they face criminal prosecution if they publish information obtained from vital records, which is generally information about births, deaths, marriages and divorces. The threat has created a public records battle and allegations that government is violating state law as well as Constitutional rights.

Iowa audit finds dozens of public bidding improprieties

No prison for Iowa teacher sex abuser under scrutiny — A Floyd County prosecutor said Thursday she has asked a judge to review the suspended 10-year prison sentence handed down to a teacher convicted of sexually abusing a student, one of at least seven such cases detailed in a recent Des Moines Register investigation.

State worker gets $125K in discrimination case — Iowa will pay a state employee $125,000 to settle allegations of racial discrimination under an agreement approved Tuesday by the state's appeal board. Violet LeFlore, an adviser at Iowa Workforce Development, is one of 32 people who filed a lawsuit against the state following a 2006 Des Moines Register investigation.

7 Iowa teachers guilty of sex abuse get no prison time — © COPYRIGHT 2016, DES MOINES REGISTER AND TRIBUNE CO. Some Iowa teachers convicted of sexually abusing students have been placed on probation rather than sentenced to prison, despite a state law requiring they spend time behind bars, a Des Moines Register investigation has found.
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Sep 26, 2016

Join us Thursday @ 2 to learn about Iowa's new trick to keep the public in dark about police work.  via @DMRegister

Sep 25, 2016

@AllezNow I believe it was cited by the state in the ongoing Burlington police shooting case

Sep 20, 2016

@VoteMattSchultz thank u, Matt! I realize this was before your tenure. Can u please call me? Just a few brief follow ups: 515-699-7058

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