News Column

Iowa Cop Suspended for Telling Trooper to Pull Governor's Car Over

July 3, 2013

An Iowa law enforcement officer was suspended after directing a state trooper to pull over a speeding car carrying Gov. Terry Branstad, public records indicate.

Larry Hedlund, a special agent in charge for the state Division of Criminal Investigation, was relieved of his duties May 1, five days after a trooper reported a black sport utility vehicle traveling at 84 mph on state Highway 20, The Des Moines Register reported Tuesday. The speed limit on that stretch of roadway wasn't reported.

The newspaper said it obtained audio of communications between Hedlund and troopers as they tracked the vehicle about 2 p.m. April 26.

Troopers noted the vehicle did not turn up in a check of computerized state vehicle registrations.

Video shot from inside a police vehicle shows a trooper getting close to the SUV but not pulling it over, and records indicate the trooper radioed a dispatcher to say the SUV "turned out to be Car 1," the newspaper reported.

The officer contacted Hedlund, who responded with a chuckle: "As if my career doesn't have enough problems the way it is. It was the governor."

A lawyer for Hedlund, Thomas Duff, said the 25-year veteran of the department was suspended for "minor rule violations" after he filed internal department complaints against superiors and a government official whose name was not reported, the Register said.

Lt. Robert Hansen of the Iowa Department of Public Safety said a review was being conducted of speeding by the governor's vehicle.

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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