A Des Moines man has filed a complaint and, according to a TV station, is demanding an apology from the governor over a traffic stop on Sunday afternoon. Governor Chet Culver and his son, John, were in the governor’s official vehicle — a black S-U-V — when the trooper who drives the governor says a car cut off the S-U-V in city traffic.
Jessica Lown a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Public Safety says, “The trooper saw a driver who was driving erratically and cut (the trooper) off, so he attempted to make a traffic stop on this driver,” Lown said. The man who was driving the car tells it differently, saying the governor’s S-U-V nearly hit his vehicle.
The driver’s wife flipped off the trooper, who was wearing plain clothes. The trooper began a pursuit, flipping on red and blue flashing lights in the vehicle, but the driver of the car continued driving. The trooper pulled in front of the driver once the pursuit reached the Interstate, but the driver drove around him.
The driver eventually stopped his car when he saw West Des Moines Police squad cars pull up nearby. The police let the driver go, without writing him a ticket. The driver is demanding a personal apology from the governor. Lown says she can’t speak for Governor Culver, but she doesn’t believe Culver played any role in the incident.
“The governor wasn’t driving the car, the trooper was. This is something between the driver and the trooper,” Lown said. “The trooper felt it was neccesary to make a traffic stop…because he saw someone who was driving inappropriately and he made a decision to attempt a traffic stop.”
The investigation is now in the hands of Lown’s agency. She says the driver filed a formal complaint with the Department of Public Safety on Monday about the way the trooper who drives the governor handled the situation.