The Ottumwa Courier

July 2, 2013

State trooper gives pass to Iowa governor's driver

RYAN J. FOLEY
Associated Press

---- — IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Audio recordings indicate a state trooper pursued a speeding SUV carrying Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, but declined to pull the driver over after realizing who was inside the vehicle.

The recordings released Tuesday to The Associated Press capture dispatchers laughing about the April incident near Fort Dodge.

Special Agent Larry Hedlund had called a dispatcher to report a black Chevrolet Tahoe that was driving "a hard 90" mph on westbound Highway 20.

Tom Duff, an attorney for Hedlund, says his client later complained internally that the governor's driver — a trooper — put public safety at risk and should not have been given a pass. Hedlund was placed on leave days later.

A Branstad spokesman didn't immediately return a message seeking comment. His administration has made highway safety a priority.