Investigative reporter at The Des Moines Register

Des Moines man says Windsor Heights police searched car without cause — A Des Moines man has filed a lawsuit alleging that Windsor Heights is relying on a controversial interpretation of Iowa's public records law to block him from obtaining police video he says would show his vehicle was illegally stopped and searched.

Judge: Iowa DOT illegally issuing speeding tickets — An officer from Iowa's transportation department did not have legal authority to issue a speeding ticket to a 16-year-old driver, Polk County District Court Associate Judge Heather Lauber ruled Thursday. The decision dismissing the ticket against Peyton Atzen, a student at Southeast Polk High School, is likely to be appealed.

University of Iowa claims copyright law to block use of flood video — Doug Krejci's effort to use the University of Iowa's 2008 flood footage for an upcoming documentary is being blocked by state officials who say copyright overrides public records. The rare argument, if successful, could not only impede Krejci's effort to raise public awareness of the disaster but also dismantle the state's public records law, government transparency experts claim.

ISU wipes airplane records from websites — Records used last month to inform the public of damage to a state-owned airplane piloted by Iowa State University President Steven Leath last year have been removed from websites by the school or its foundation. Leath had pledged in an interview "to be as open and transparent as possible" about questions surrounding his use of university planes.

Are Branstad’s Medicaid claims ‘smoke and mirrors?’ — Iowa is unable to provide data to back up Gov. Terry Branstad's claims that says a controversial move to privatize Medicaid has resulted in thousands of additional contracts with medical providers, a Des Moines Register investigation has found.

Iowa pays $465K to settle UI malpractice claims — Iowa agreed Monday to pay more than $465,000 to settle two medical malpractice claims, sparking questions about how its legal strategies compare to other states with university-run hospitals. In the biggest payout, the Iowa Appeal Board agreed to pay the estate of Rebecca Martin $315,000 to settle claims that hospital staff were negligent during a 2012 exploratory procedure that left her paralyzed from the waist down.

Register nominated for three Emmy Awards — The Des Moines Register was on Friday nominated for three Upper Midwest Emmy Awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony Oct. 29 in Bloomington, Minn. An full-length documentary about the loss of thousands of Iowa school districts produced by Jason Clayworth, reporter; Rodney White, producer and Charlie Litchfield, producer.

Nondisclosure allows Iowa sex offender to avoid prison — A court won't be asked to review what some believe is an illegal sentence a teacher received in July that allows him to avoid prison after being convicted of a sex crime against a child, a county attorney in northwest Iowa says.

Iowa’s police secrecy under a microscope at Thursday forum — A controversial and relatively recent interpretation of Iowa law that state government says gives it the right to keep secret virtually any record related to police investigations is the focus Thursday of a free public panel discussion in Des Moines. That law allows investigative reports to remain confidential during an ongoing investigation.

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.
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Oct 21, 2016

RT @kbolten: Iowa State Patrol won't release BAC of wrong-way driver who slammed head-on into vehicle, killing 3 including self.

Oct 20, 2016

Will Iowa's DOT stop issuing speeding tickets following court ruling? The state won't say today:  via @DMRegister

Oct 20, 2016

Have you been ticketed by an Iowa DOT officer? It might be an illegal ticket:  via @DMRegister

Oct 11, 2016

Iowa "is either deliberately obfuscating...or they simply don’t know what they’re doing"  via @DMRegister @AllezNow

Oct 11, 2016

More unsourced success stories of Iowa's private Medicaid. So far attempts 2 identify the happy campers have failed. 

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