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IA Auditor Investigating Settlements

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa Auditor Mary Mosiman says she is conducting an audit of confidential secret settlements that have enveloped Gov. Terry Branstad's administration in controversy for more than a month.
   Mosiman says in a letter to Democratic Sen. Jack Hatch she began to review the settlement agreements shortly after she learned of them. She says her office is working to identify anything improper or inappropriate. She says she'll issue a public report when the investigation is concluded.
   Hatch, who's running against Branstad for governor, sent Mosiman a letter April 8 asking for an audit.
   He also wants the Legislature to approve funds for a broader independent audit from a firm outside the government to ensure politics is removed from the process.
   Mosiman, a Republican, was appointed by Branstad last year.

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