The man who refused to appear voluntarily before a legislative committee probing the salary scandal at the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium walked into the Legislative Oversight Committee meeting Monday. Legislators had issued a subpeona to force CIETC board member Dan Albritton to appear before the panel, but with his attorney at his side, Albritton refused to testify.
That makes Albritton the first of seven CIETC-related witnesses to refuse to answer legislators’ questions. Albritton “took the fifth,” saying at his lawyer’s advice he was exercising his right to refuse to answer to avoid incriminating himself. Legislators say they want to question Albritton because he not only served on the CIETC board but was also a paid consultant for the agency and he bought a boat with CIETC’s former C-E-O, Ramona Cunningham.
Senator Pat Ward, a Republican from West Des Moines, said during the meeting that if Albritton had nothing to hide, he should be willing to talk publicly.
Ward said she was disappointed and also thought the people of Iowa would be “very angry” with Albritton at what she called a “lack of consideration, and lack of honesty.”
Ward says Albritton may have a right to do what he wants, but says this is a fact-finding process. She says “if he had nothing to hide, he’d be very willing to come and talk to us.” But Paul Scott, Albritton’s attorney, objected to Ward’s statement. Scott says there are several on-going investigations into CIETC and Albritton has every right not to incriminate himself. “It has nothing to do with honesty, truth or anything else,” Scott says, declaring that invoking your right -not to testify is not evidence of guilt.
Scott says it has nothing to do with Albritton’s “veracity” if he wants to assert his constitutional right. Scott told reporters that while Albritton has spoken with the U.S. Attorney’s office, he’s been told he’s not the target of any criminal investigation.