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Report Reveals Source of Secret Settlements

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A response to a Senate investigation into confidential settlements paid fired state workers has revealed the money came from a variety of funds within several state agencies, prompting at least one lawmaker to voice concerns about misappropriation of funds.
   Democratic Sen. Steven Sodders says the time is approaching that lawmakers need to consider hiring a special prosecutor to determine whether laws were broken.
   Iowa Department of Administrative Services documents provided at lawmakers' request show money for settlements came from the agency's utilities fund and the energy program budget.
   Sodders, a sheriff's deputy says it should be investigated whether money spent for purposes other than appropriated was illegal.
   Several former employees will tell their stories at a meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday. Department directors are scheduled to testify on Thursday.

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