A state senate committee has voted to release the nomination of the head the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy to the full senate for a confirmation vote without a recommendation that senators should vote for or against him. Arlen Ciechanowski was in charge last year when complaints surfaced over inappropriate comments to female recruits by Assistant Director Michael Quinn. Ciechanowski later fired Quinn.
Senator Janet Peterson, a Democrat from Des Moines, says disturbing things happened under Ciechanowski’s leadership and they weren’t properly addressed. “And I believe we need a strong leader up there who won’t tolerate sexual harassment,” Peterson says.
Problems at the agency surfaced during a Senate Oversight Committee hearing last year on the hiring and firing practices of the Branstad administration. Peterson led that committee. “If we want our law enforcement to be professional we’ve got to start at the top,” Peterson says.
Three senators voted against Ciechanowski’s reappointment and the rest of the committee members sent the nomination to the full Senate without recommendation. A spokesman for the Governor Terry Branstad says the governor is confident that the full Senate will approve the nomination.