Governor Tom Vilsack’s warning legislators not to let their investigation of a central Iowa job-training program interfere with a federal probe of the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium.
The Legislature’s Governor Oversight Committee plans to resume public hearings into the controversy this (Wednesday) morning at nine, but Vilsack says he’s not sure what legislators expect to accomplish.
Vilsack says the federal authorities should be given the leeway to do any investigation they need to do to determine whether there’s any criminal wrongdoing or a violation of any federal law. He says the legislative responsibility “is to see whether or not oversight worked.”
The governor says state oversight of the federally-funded program has already worked when the state auditor uncovered the six-figure salaries the program’s top three managers were pulling in.
Vilsack says legislators should now focus their attention on making sure whistleblowers are adequately protected by state law. Vilsack says the federal authorities obviously are going to have more trained investigators, more access to information and more details and nuances.
He says the legislature’s job will be to determine whether there should be more protection for individuals who raise questions about the way things are being done in any public organization. “I think that would be relatively easy to determine without the necessity for day-long hearings.”