Judge Blocks Iowa Governor’s Deposition In Firing Of Agent

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A judge says Gov. Terry Branstad doesn’t have to testify under oath in a lawsuit filed by a fired Division of Criminal Investigation agent who blames Branstad for destroying his career.

Judge William Kelly, a Branstad appointee, rejected Larry Hedlund’s request to depose Branstad in Hedlund’s wrongful termination lawsuit.

Kelly ruled Friday in favor of the Iowa attorney general’s office, which is representing Branstad and argued the governor was too busy to face a two-hour deposition. Kelly says Hedlund can seek information from Branstad in written questions but requiring the governor to be deposed “would be an incredible burden” while he’s preparing to become U.S. ambassador to China.

Hedlund is suing Branstad and Iowa Department of Public Safety officials. He contends he was defamed and fired for reporting wrongdoing, including a 2013 incident in which he reported Branstad’s speeding SUV.

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