The state senator who is co-chair of the Legislature’s Oversight Committee says it’s time for the governor to fire the director of the Department of Administrative Services. Senator Janet Petersen’s comments come after newly-released documents from a lawyer who represented a second laid off state employee indicates that employee was offered an extra $6,500 in her exit package if she agreed to keep the deal secret.
“(The documents) show that Director Carroll was lying to the legislature,” Petersen said this afternoon.
Carroll testified before Petersen’s committee last Thursday, saying the alleged hush money payments “just did not happen.” Over the weekend another laid off state worker released a document his attorney received, promising extra money if that worker would agree to keep his settlement agreement confidential. Governor Branstad on Monday questioned the authenticity of that document and said he believed Carroll was telling the truth. Petersen said documentation now from two former employees proves otherwise.
“I think it’s time for the governor to take action. He said, ‘Heads would roll.’ I think we’ve got clear evidence we’re not getting a straight story,” Petersen says. “I believe it’s time for Carroll to get let go. We cannot afford to have one of the governor’s top team members…lying to the legislature.”
A spokesman for Branstad was not immediately available for comment this afternoon.
Late this afternoon Senate Democrats voted to put a hold on $22 million dollars in construction projects handled by the Department of Administrative Services until legislators get all their questions answered.
“We have little or no confidence in the director of the Department of Administrative Services and we believe that the only appropriate thing to do at this time is to withhold this money until such time as there are changes or there is information forthcoming,” said Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines who is also a member of the Legislature’s Oversight Committee.
(This story was updated at 4:48 p.m. with additional information.)