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Review: Gov. Had No Role in Agent's Firing

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- A review commissioned by Gov. Terry Branstad has concluded that the governor's office played no role in the firing of a criminal investigator who had complained about the governor's speeding SUV.
   Former Chief Justice Louis Lavorato said in a report released Wednesday that Branstad took a "hands off approach" toward the investigation and termination of former Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Larry Hedlund.
   Lavorato says he found no direct evidence that Hedlund's superiors retaliated against Hedlund in putting him on administrative leave in April, days after Hedlund warned the governor's speeding was a safety risk.
   But Lavorato says he reaches no conclusion on whether there was retaliation or whether Hedlund's firing is justified. He says retaliation is seldom established directly and "in most cases must depend on circumstantial evidence."

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