DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of a former Division of Criminal Investigation agent who claims he was wrongfully fired after reporting an SUV Gov. Branstad was a passenger in was speeding.
The opinion by the court was released Friday morning and says the appeal of Larry Hedlund, to the district court, was “untimely.” The ruling also states the court’s dismissal will not prevent Hedlund “from challenging the ruling that he has no claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy. Hedlund retains the ability to appeal that ruling at the conclusion of the case.”
The appeal stems from a lawsuit brought by Hedlund against the state claiming he was wrongfully terminated after filing a complaint in April of 2013 about an SUV Gov. Branstad was a passenger in – speeding at 19 miles per hour over the speed limit.
Hedlund sent several e-mails about the incident at the end of April and was placed on leave May 1st. The department terminated his employment on July 17th, 2013.
Judge Dennis Stovall ruled in district court in September of 2014 that while Hedlund had an obligation to enforce traffic laws, that is “too vague and general” of a public policy to qualify for added legal protections. He noted that Hedlund has other job safeguards, including the ability to appeal his firing administratively.
The Iowa Supreme Court agreed in December of 2014 to hear Hedlund’s appeal to Stovall’s ruling.