The co-chair of the Legislative Oversight Committee says he’s not concerned the panel’s investigation of a central Iowa job training program will endanger any criminal investigation. The Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium’s top three managers got six-figure salaries and bonuses, and Senator Ron Wieck, a Republican from Sioux City, is now leading the Oversight Committee’s investigation.
“I believe that if there’s a criminal investigation going on out there and the folks doing that criminal investigation have some concerns about it, I would think that they would come the Government Oversight and we certainly would work with them,” Wieck says. “At this point in time I’ve not been contacted by anyone (who) wants the Government Oversight Committee to stop doing what they’re doing.”
On Tuesday Governor Tom Vilsack said legislators should focus their attention on writing a law that will protect whistleblowers like the Iowa Workforce Development employee who told federal authorities about the outlandish salaries, and leave the investigating to authorities who can press criminal charges.
Wieck says he “respects the governor’s opinion” but his committee has no intention of dropping their investigation. “We continue to have bits and pieces of information dropped in,” Wieck says. “The whole part of this process is going to be, I believe, is Iowans coming to the table and saying ‘Hey, we don’t like what happened here and we want to be a part of resolving this thing.'”
The Legislative Oversight Committee will convene at 11 o’clock this (Thursday) morning and has asked the secretary who was tossing documents in a dumpster a week ago to testify. The committee has asked the number two in command at the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium to testify, too, and Wieck says if John Bargman does not comply the committee may issue a subpoena to get him to appear.