More details about Governor Kim Reynolds’ firing of Iowa Finance Authority Director Dave Jamison over sexual harassment allegations were revealed today.
Jamison is getting unemployment benefits. The governor wants to stop the payments and an administrative law judge held a hearing on the case today. A lawyer for Jamison asked Jake Ketzner, the governor’s chief of staff, why there was no investigation of the allegations before the firing.
“I met with the two IFA employees who made the complaints on Friday, March 23rd and believed them,” Ketzner said, “and therefore no further investigation was needed to determine if Mr. Jamison should be terminated.”
Ketzner said he met the two women at a West Des Moines restaurant to discuss their complaints about Jamison and relayed their allegations to Governor Reynolds. Reynolds then met with Ketzner and a few other state officials to discuss options before ordering Ketzner to fire Jamison immediately.
Jamison’s lawyer, Bruce Stoltze, Jr., argued Jamison should keep receiving unemployment benefits because the governor’s office withheld evidence and didn’t prove misconduct on Jamison’s part.
“They got these allegations. They refused to tell Mr. Jamison about it when they terminated him,” Stoltze said. “When he asked to be able to respond, he was denied that chance. He was denied a pre-termination or post-termination hearing.”
The governor’s chief of staff said he believed the accusers’ “detailed accusations” and didn’t need to investigate further. Multiple investigations of the Iowa Finance Authority were launched about a month after Jamison was fired.
A decision on the governor’s appeal of Jamison’s benefits is expected within 10 days. Ketzner, the governor’s chief of staff, is leaving his post this Friday to “pursue opportunities outside of state government.” The governor has asked her chief legal counsel, Ryan Koopman’s, to take over as her chief of staff.
(By Iowa Public Radio’s Katarina Sostaric)