To the editor:
A grievous injustice has occurred, and I am encouraging Iowa citizens to take an honorable stand. We must make it clear to the 'powers that be' that we will not tolerate such outrageous conduct and conspicuous disregard for Iowa law and for civilized integrity. Our public officials are charged with the safety and well-being of our state, not for deceit and embarrassment.
The recent firing of DCI Special Agent Larry Hedlund was obviously blatant retaliation for Mr. Hedlund's registered complaint regarding the governor's speeding vehicle, despite Gov. Terry Branstad's claims to the contrary.
For 25 years, Mr. Hedlund was a dedicated public servant with an impeccable work record. He was not afraid to speak up when suggested policy changes were not, in his opinion as a long-experienced investigator, beneficial to the efficiency of the Department. He has character and respect. He was not afraid to speak up when the governor's speeding vehicle posed a serious threat to the safety of others sharing the highway that day. Yet DCI Director Chari Paulson's first response to Mr. Hedlund's email did not show concern for the safety of those motorists, but rather directly aimed to discredit Mr. Hedlund, a man who cared enough to spend a day of his vacation in an effort to serve our state. And being fired for doing this duty is the thanks Mr. Hedlund gets. Apparently the governor and staffer Paulson want only "yes" men.
The state has lost a valuable asset with the termination of Mr. Hedlund. Some believe they have ruined his career and impaired his ability to make a living. Others believe his firm fight for right will enhance his future employment opportunities. Unlike the state, other employers want honesty and integrity, someone they can trust to "do the right thing."
Citizens of Iowa, I implore you to not let this matter drop. We should all support Mr. Hedlund as he has supported us, the public. Write a letter, an e-mail, or make a phone call to the governor's office, the DCI or your newspaper to register your disapproval and your indignation at the despicable practices of our governor and state employees.