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Gov. Branstad fires Department of Administrative Services Director Mike Carroll


This news story was published on April 8, 2014.
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DES MOINES – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today terminated the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Director Mike Carroll.

Branstad released the following statement:

Governor Terry Branstad

Governor Terry Branstad

“Director Carroll told me that employees were not paid an additional amount in exchange for confidentiality provisions. In light of recent developments, I learned the information presented to me by Director Carroll was not accurate. I am deeply troubled and disappointed by this. As I stated at my press conference Monday, if I learned of new information there would be harsh consequences.

“I terminated Director Carroll today because new facts directly contradict what he told me and what he stated before the Government Oversight Committee. This is unacceptable.

“Confidentiality provisions in personnel settlements should have never been used. The use of such provisions was wrong. Taxpayer dollars should have never been used in relation to confidentiality provisions.

“The citizens of Iowa deserve a government as open and honest as them. Confidentiality provisions run contrary to my priority of an open and transparent government.”

Carroll’s termination is effective immediately. Branstad named Janet Phipps the interim director of DAS.

Mike Carroll joined the public sector after working 35 years in the construction industry, most recently as Vice President of Hansen Company, Inc. in Johnston, Iowa. Educated as a construction engineer, Carroll’s experience includes general management, business development, purchasing and technology.

Other professional and civic organizations in which Carroll has served in a leadership role include Master Builders of Iowa, Associated General Contractors of America, U.S. Green Building Council, Governor’s Commission on Energy Efficiency (Iowa), Greater Des Moines Partnership, ACE Mentoring-Iowa Chapter and the Des Moines Golf & Country Club.

Janet Petersen, State Senator

Janet Petersen, State Senator

Earlier Tuesday, Janet Petersen, chair of the Senate Oversight Committee, said “It is time for Governor Branstad to clean up his act. He should start by firing Mike Carroll.”

Last week, Department of Administrative Director Mike Carroll told the House and Senate Joint Oversight Committee that former state employees lied when they said they were offered additional money in exchange for confidentiality clauses in their employee settlements.

Carroll questioned the motives of ex-employees by calling them “disgruntled” and saying their statements to legislators were “untrue.”

Yesterday, during his weekly news conference, Governor Branstad again said that no money was offered to former workers in exchange for silence about their dismissals. Iowa’s Governor went on to say that he believes DAS Director Carroll when Carroll says the two laid-off state employees and attorneys who say they were offered “hush-money” are lying.

At the event with reporters, Governor Branstad also said “you do have a disgruntled employee and his lawyer who have made contradictory statements” and that “attorneys represent their clients and oftentimes will make all kinds of accusations.”

Today, Carol Frank, one of those laid off workers, provided documents to Rep. Kevin Koester, an Ankeny Republican and Chair of the House’s Government Oversight Committee, and me from her attorney that prove she was offered “hush money” by the Branstad Administration.

The documents include emails between DAS top officials and Frank’s attorney which clearly offer her $6,500 in additional money if she will sign non-disclosure clauses.

The Governor has claimed repeatedly that there was no “hush-money.” Governor Branstad has said he did not know that 24 confidential settlements—10 with lump-sum payments—had been signed with dismissed state workers since January 2011.

The Governor’s internal investigation into this matter was either a colossal failure or part of an epic cover-up.

The people of Iowa deserve the whole truth from the Governor about what’s been happening in state government under his leadership. The next step to ensuring that Iowa taxpayers get the whole story is for Governor Branstad to immediately fire Mike Carroll and replace him with someone who will tell the truth and get the bottom of this mess.

Link to documents provided today, April 8, 2014, to Senator Janet Petersen and Representative Kevin Koester, the respective chairs of the Senate and House Government Oversight Committees: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/publications/SD/2014/25396/25396.pdf

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