The state auditor has found a Branstad Administration lawyer hired in 2011 may not have been qualified for his job and was paid nearly $23,000 more than he should have.
Ryan Lamb was the chief legal counsel for the Department of Administrative Services. It’s the agency that handles personnel issues in state government and Lamb was involved in the controversy over payments to laid-off state employees, so they wouldn’t reveal the size of their exit pay package. State Auditor Mary Mosiman says Lamb was overpaid because the agency did not comply with the state’s military leave policy.
“The problem with Mr. Lamb’s case is that he did not fill out military leave paperwork, so the department did not track military leave for him,” Mosiman says. “In other words, he was receiving full pay from the State of Iowa as well as accruing benefits the entire time he was on leave.”
Mosiman also says Lamb didn’t have enough legal experience for the job. According to the auditor, Lamb’s personnel file was incomplete — and he was working in the state agency that handles personnel matters for all of state government.
“The state agencies should be following their own policies,” Mosiman says.
These discrepancies happened under former agency chief Mike Carroll. He’s the construction company executive Governor Branstad hired to revamp the Department of Administrative Services. The agency also oversees maintenance of state buildings and state-funded construction projects. Carroll brought Lamb in from the private sector to work as a state government attorney.
“No matter who is holding a position, they need to follow the policies that are in place,” the auditor says.
Lamb resigned last year to take a job with a construction company. The governor fired Administrative Services director Mike Carroll in the spring of 2014 after Branstad says Carroll lied to him and to legislators about the controversial settlement agreements with laid-off state workers. The current director of the Department of Administrative Services says during her tenure, the agency has followed state personnel policies. She’s checking with the department’s current legal team and may ask Lamb to repay the $22,635.55 in excess compensation.
Read the auditor’s report here.