The $19,000 carpet bill

You may have read the Radio Iowa story written after a House Rebuild Iowa Committee meeting at which the Rebuild Iowa Office chief of staff was called in, talked for a long time, and then answered legislators' questions. 

Tina Potthoff, the Rebuild Iowa Office communications director, called me late this morning.  She said there is a misconception about the salaries earned by office staff.  "No one makes more than $77,000," Potthoff says.  She says the documents handed out yesterday by Emily Hajek, the Rebuild Iowa Office chief of staff, reflected salary and benefits — thereby pushing the total pay and benefits package for four RIO staff into six figures.

Regarding that $19,000 bill for new carpeting of the Rebuild Iowa Office in the Wallace Building, Potthoff says they're occupying space vacated by the D.C.I crime lab and they had to replace the carpeting for "environmental reasons."  Potthoff said some sort of air handling device in a conference room had to be removed for environmental reasons as well. I asked Potthoff why Hajek didn't offer this explanation yesterday, and she said she didn't know why Hajek hadn't cited environnmental reasons (Hajek, instead, said the lieutenant governor wanted new carpeting in the office)

Potthoff added this other curious sentence during our brief cell phone to cell phone conversation: "I'm not speaking for her," Potthoff said, referencing Hajek.  

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.