IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — State lawyers are seeking to block Gov. Terry Branstad from having to testify about the firing of an agent who reported speeding by the governor’s security detail.
Branstad’s lawyers filed a motion Wednesday asking a judge to quash a March 24 deposition scheduled by lawyers for former Division of Criminal Investigation supervisor Larry Hedlund. The filing argues that Branstad’s deposition isn’t necessary and would interfere with his state duties and preparations to become the U.S. ambassador to China.
Hedlund is suing Branstad and former superiors at the Iowa Department of Public Safety. He contends he was fired in retaliation for reporting wrongdoing, including an incident in which a trooper driving Branstad was caught speeding 19 miles-per-hour over the limit but not stopped.
Hedlund had reported the speeding SUV, and later complained that Branstad’s detail had a practice of driving at dangerous speeds to and from events.
Hedlund’s attorneys want to ask the governor under oath about his claims at a 2013 press conference that Hedlund was fired for morale and safety reasons that were completely unrelated to the speeding complaints. Hedlund contends the governor’s remarks were false and defamatory.