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Hedlund Controversy Sparks New Investigation Into Unidentified Plates

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (KGAN/KFXA) - Governor Terry Branstad spoke out about a speeding controversy and an Iowa investigator's termination on Thursday.

DCI Special Agent in charge Larry Hedlund is no longer employed by the state.

Hedlund complained in April about a state trooper who didn't receive a speeding ticket while Governor Branstad was in the car. Hedlund said that is what led to his suspension and ultimate firing.

Yet, the governor said on Thursday  that's not the case. Branstad said the firing is due to previous incidents.

There is no correlation. It is absolutely a false accusation. I would love to tell you everything, but the lawyers tell me I can't, Branstad said.

In the same news conference, Branstad said Hedlund's complaint has generated a new investigation. He is ordering the state Department of Transportation to review the 3200 unidentified official plates. The Governor said during his first term in office, he always drove a Lincoln Town Car with a very identifiable license plate.

Following 9-11, rules changed, and more plates became unidentified to protect officials. Yet, Branstad said he questions the high number of unidentified plates in the state right now. He's also concerned because drivers of those cars avoid tickets if they're caught on speed cameras. That's something that also doesn't add up for some Iowans.

I believe it's somewhat unfair because it's easy for the cameras to quickly identify my vehicle, Shannon Wright of Cedar Rapids said.

There's a lot of them that should be held accountable to how they're driving or speeding, whatever they're doing, Kent Backen of Cedar Rapids said.

The Governor is asking for a review of speed cameras by the DOT.
He wants to know how many tickets are getting paid, how many aren't and where the money is going.


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