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Iowa officials ask court to reject added whistleblower protection for state police officers

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — State officials are asking the Iowa Supreme Court to reject a new job protection designed to prohibit state police officers from facing politically-motivated firings for doing their jobs.

An assistant attorney general told justices in a recent brief that the extra safeguard for Department of Public Safety officers who blow the whistle on criminal conduct isn't necessary. She says they already enjoy job protections and firings based on political retaliation would never stand.

The filing urged justices to reject an appeal by former Division of Criminal Investigation agent Larry Hedlund, who contends he was unfairly removed from duty after complaining about Gov. Terry Branstad's speeding vehicle.

Hedlund's attorney has asked the court to rule that state public policy protects officers from retaliation for enforcing laws they are required to uphold.

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