A veteran investigator whose termination has caused controversy with the Iowa governor's office was honored for his service Friday morning by a group dedicated to fighting crime in Webster County.
Larry Hedlund, a former special agent in charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, was presented with a plaque by Webster County Crime Stoppers President Dan Streit at the group's monthly meeting Friday.
Hedlund told the board he appreciated the recognition.
"This is a really great organization," Hedlund said.
Hedlund also had words of praise for the Iowa Department of Public Safety, which oversees the DCI. He said it was a great department with some great people working there.
"The bottom line is there's some excellent people that work there and there's been some great changes that have been made," he said. "Hopefully there will be more changes in the near future."
While Hedlund didn't comment on the case, which includes a lawsuit he filed against some of his former bosses, he did say he has received words of encouragement from people all over the community.
"I've received lots of support from both people I know and from strangers," he said.
He added that while he's appreciative of all the words of encouragement and the support, he doesn't expect he'll be reinstated at the DCI.
"We'll use the legal system to fight it," Hedlund said. "It's just going to have to go through that way."
Still, Crime Stoppers Membership Chair John Bruner said he hoped Hedlund would one day return to the DCI.
"It's important this community realizes that it's not just you who lost a job," Bruner said. "This community lost a wonderful public servant."
Streit added that the plaque was one way of showing how much Crime Stoppers has appreciated Hedlund's investigative work over the years.
"It's a small way we can show our support for you," Streit said.
Hedlund also said even though he's no longer a public safety official, he would like to remain a member of Crime Stoppers.
"If you want to have me on as a civilian, I'd be glad to help," Hedlund said.
Hedlund was fired in July following a two-month investigation after he filed a complaint about Gov. Terry Branstad's vehicle speeding through traffic.