Key House Republicans seeking answers from governor over confidential settlements & the blacklist

State Representative Kevin Koester, a Republican from Ankeny, is chairman of the House Oversight Committee.  There is a Senate Oversight Committee, too, and the House & Senate panels (mostly) meet together. Koester has submitted a list of questions to the governor’s office and, according to House GOP staff: “The House oversight committee will refrain from participating in additional oversight meetings until they receive answers back and if they deem necessary for follow up.”

Here are the questions:

Regarding Confidentiality Provisions  

1. Why did some of the settlement agreements contain confidentiality provisions while others did not?

2. What was the determining factor or factors that changed a settlement agreement from one that did not contain a confidentiality provision to one that did contain a confidentiality provision?

3. Of the settlement agreements that contained a confidentiality provision, was there ever an instance in which the employee was the party to the agreement that requested the settlement contain a confidentiality provision? If yes, how many and which ones?

4. In what circumstances or situations would the state request a confidentiality provision? Please list those agreements and the reason for confidentiality.

5. Did any of the state employees involved in the settlements solicit additional compensation for a confidentiality provision in their settlement agreement? If so, which ones and how much did they request? What was the final agreed upon amount for each case?

6. Would it serve the public interest for Iowans to know the reasons for the inclusion of confidentiality provisions in state settlement agreements?

7. Do the collective bargaining agreements entered into by the state allow for confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements?

8. Please denote the reason each employee with a confidentiality provision in his/her settlement agreement resigned in lieu of termination, was discharged, or was demoted as a result of a final disciplinary action.

Regarding Ineligible for Rehire Status  

9. What are the reasons or circumstances behind former employees being given an ineligible for rehire status?

10. Is this a separate list independent of the employee’s record, notation on the employee’s personnel record, or something else?

11. In a case where a state employee is involved in abuse or criminal activity, is the occurrence reported to law enforcement? What is the process for reporting this to law enforcement?

12.  Is it possible that a state employee who is involved in abuse or criminal activity would be eligible for rehire?

13. How do hiring managers know which former employees had agreed not to seek future state employment or were terminated for cause?

14. Are there any situations where a state employee, fired for an act of abuse, illegal activity, or something similar, found employment in the same field either in a different state or at a private facility doing the same or similar work?

15. Are all employees and former employees notified and given due process and/or appeals regarding their future employment status with the state? If so, how is this done?

16. Please denote why each employee with an ineligible for rehire status was given that status.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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