Lawmakers on the Iowa Senate Oversight Committee held a hearing today to look into recent break-ins at two county courthouses. The incidents allegedly involved the employees of a cybersecurity firm hired by the judicial branch.
Senator Tony Bisignano, a Democrat from Des Moines, said the judicial branch put people’s safety in jeopardy with what Bigignano referred to as a “covert stupid operation.”
“I don’t think you gave consideration to people,” Bisignano said. “You had this concept of what you wanted to accomplish. And you insulted a lot of professionals. And you owe them an apology.”
Chief Justice Mark Cady told senators he takes full responsibility as the leader of the judicial branch.
“We are doing everything possible to understand and correct those mistakes, be accountable for those mistakes and make sure they never ever occur again,” Cady said.
Judicial branch officials say they do not know if someone at the agency they hired authorized the workers to conduct the late-night break-ins at the Polk County and Dallas County Courthouses. An independent investigation and criminal cases are underway.
Senator Amy Sinclair of Allerton, the Republican who is chair of the Oversight Committee, said lawmakers will seek more information once the investigations are complete to ensure something like this never happens again.
(Thanks to Iowa Public Radio’s Katarina Sostaric)