The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

September 10, 2013

Branstad: London had plenty of chances

DES MOINES — Brian London, who resigned as the commissioner of the state Department of Public Safety last week after a rash of scandals, was given plenty of chances to run the department effectively, Iowa’s governor shot back Monday in response to London’s complaint he was undermined from the beginning.

London resigned last Tuesday, ending an 11-month tenure marked by what employees called a difficult management style and plummeting morale. There also was a scandal involving the governor’s speeding vehicle and a diplomatic incident over a remark about Filipinos.

“I think we gave him plenty of chances. In fact there are a lot of people who said maybe we should have gotten rid of him sooner but basically I don’t believe in looking back,” said Gov. Branstad in a conference call to reporters from a trade mission in Japan. “I want to look ahead.”

London, in a Friday interview with the Cedar Rapids newspaper, the Gazette, claimed he was never given a chance in Iowa and his treatment by state officials has ruined him professionally.

Branstad moved quickly after London’s resignation to appoint Larry Noble, a 30-year department veteran who had resigned from the same job last year citing personal reasons.

London started work in October 2012 overseeing the state agency that includes the Iowa State Patrol and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

London and two other officials were sued last month over their roles in firing Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Larry Hedlund, who contends superiors retaliated against him for filing a complaint in April about the governor’s speeding vehicle. Hedlund’s lawsuit claims London was a micromanager who pressured subordinates through threats of disciplinary action.

London also apologized in August for telling employees that, in his experience with lie detection tests, Filipinos were difficult to polygraph. London claimed he was making a point about cultural barriers, but his remark was condemned by the Philippine ambassador to the U.S., who called to demand an explanation.

A publicly listed telephone number could not be located for London, who recently bought a new home in West Des Moines. A DPS spokesman said the department does not have contact information for former employees and couldn’t provide a number.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Inmate charged in Rockford lawyer's 2008 death

    Murder charges were announced Wednesday against the one-time client of a Rockford attorney who was fatally shot while clearing snow from his driveway in 2008.

    Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato said a grand jury has indicted Richard E. Wanke Jr., 53, on charges of first-degree murder in the death of Gregory H. Clark, 60. Wanke was arrested Wednesday at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, where he has been serving a 14-year sentence on burglary charges with a projected parole date of May 7.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite ruling, Iowa to bar all felons from voting

    Elections officials will continue to bar felons from voting despite an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that suggests not all of them have lost their voting rights.

    Three justices ruled Tuesday that only some felonies are considered "infamous crimes" under the Iowa Constitution that bar individuals from voting or holding office.

    April 16, 2014

  • Branstad's tax return shows income of $234,907

    Gov. Terry Branstad released his tax returns Wednesday, showing he earned $234,907 and paid $28,298 in federal taxes in 2013.

    The governor and his wife paid $32,085 in federal taxes but are getting a refund of $3,787. Their state tax return shows they paid in $10,285 in taxes but will get a refund of $4,158. In addition the governor and first lady each received $54 back from the Legislature as all Iowa taxpayers did making their total Iowa tax bill $6,235.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on 'The View'

    Jenny McCarthy had big news to share Wednesday on "The View": She's engaged to Donnie Wahlberg.

    McCarthy raised her hidden left hand from behind the desk, revealing an engagement ring.

    April 16, 2014

  • Iran cuts nuke weapons ability

    The United Nations will release a report this week certifying that Iran's ability to make a nuclear bomb has been greatly reduced because it has diluted half of its material that can be turned most quickly into weapons-grade uranium, diplomats said Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • 283 missing, 4 dead in South Korea ferry disaster

    A ferry carrying 462 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast on Wednesday, leaving more than 280 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. At least four people were confirmed dead and 55 injured.

    April 16, 2014

  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

    NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine, the alliance's chief said Wednesday.

    Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO's air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region west of Ukraine, far from the tensions in the eastern part of the country. He said allied warships will also deploy to the Baltic Sea, the eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere if needed.

    April 16, 2014

  • Police: Utah woman gave birth at home

    A Utah woman accused of concealing seven pregnancies before strangling or suffocating her newborns gave birth each time in her home, authorities said Wednesday.

    Investigators have determined that Megan Huntsman, 39, did not go to a hospital to have the babies, Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Mike Roberts said. He didn't say if anybody helped her give birth.

    April 16, 2014

  • Illinois trooper charged for roadside strip search

    A southwestern Illinois state trooper is facing a felony aggravated battery charge after authorities say he strip-searched a man along the side of a road during a traffic stop.

    The (Belleville) News-Democrat reports 32-year-old Cory Alberson was released on $20,000 bail on Monday after he pleaded not guilty.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video