Two fired after hazing inquiry
IOWA CITY — An Iowa trooper and a state gaming agent are seeking their jobs back after being fired in February following an investigation into a hazing incident at a police training academy in 2008, The Associated Press has learned.
Former Division of Criminal Investigation agent Andrew Harrelson said Wednesday that he was fired after the Department of Public Safety accused him of hazing and verbally intimidating a 21-year-old fellow recruit — charges he disputes. Harrelson said the recruit, now a state officer, accused him of putting powder on his buttocks after others handcuffed him to a bed during the Department of Public Safety’s basic training academy at Camp Dodge in Johnston.
Harrelson said he was shocked to be accused by the officer, who waited years to come forward with a complaint, and that he categorically denied any involvement. Trooper Joshua Guhl, who was also fired and accused in the incident, declined an interview request.
“I don’t remember it happening. I don’t remember seeing it happening. But I’m told that it happened,” Harrelson said.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety has not responded to a July 19 request for information about the case from the AP. An agency spokeswoman said Wednesday she was working on it.
Harrelson said the department has informed him that it cannot find the records from the 2008 academy
The Polk County Attorney’s Office in Des Moines confirmed that it declined to file charges last October after reviewing a DCI report alleging “a recruit was hazed by being handcuffed and subject to other assaultive conduct” after a training day. A three-year statute of limitations that applies to most crimes in Iowa had expired by the time the allegations came to the office’s attention in May 2012, assistant county attorney Jeff Noble told AP.