So we can’t say we were surprised earlier this month to hear Iowa’s ombudsman, Ruth Cooperrider, tell The Des Moines Register that Miller’s staff is increasingly attempting to interfere with her office’s independent authority to investigate complaints about state and local government.
Nor were we surprised to learn that Miller’s office was arguing that the University of Iowa shouldn’t be required to provide details about a settlement claim to one of its former surgeons. (Although, given how the AG office’s previous “Sunshine Advisory” held that government settlement agreements are public records, we were somewhat surprised the office would so blatantly ask a judge to ignore its own earlier advice.)
Nor were we surprised when newspapers like the Storm Lake Times responded by editorializing that, after 28 years in office, it’s time for Miller to retire.
If Miller and his staff are going to use the law to serve state government over serving the people of Iowa, then they need to get out of the way of those independent agencies who are working to ensure the public’s interests are represented as well.