County attorney to be prosecuted for allegedly violating Iowa’s open records law

An Iowa state board has voted to prosecute the Des Moines County Attorney on accusations that she didn't turn over law enforcement records sought by relatives of a woman killed by a Burlington police officer. 

The Hawk Eye reports that the Iowa Public Information Board voted 4-2 at its meeting last week to pursue action against Amy Beavers, saying she violated Iowa's open records law last year by not giving copies of the records to the attorney for Autumn Steele's relatives.


Police body camera study bill sent to Iowa Senate panel

An Iowa Senate subcommittee on Tuesday approved a bill that would launch a study of the use, storage, public inspection and confidentiality of body camera video.

Body cameras are increasingly worn by Iowa law enforcement officers to record interactions with the public. The devices are often promoted as improving accountability for police, but in several cases law enforcement agencies have refused to release the videos.


Iowa bill would require police to release records in closed investigations

Family and friends of Autumn Steele have many questions about the day the 34-year-old mom was accidentally shot and killed by a Burlington police officer.

Why was Officer Jesse Hill holding a gun when responding to a domestic disturbance in Steele’s front yard? Did Steele’s dog bite Hill as the officer alleged? How many shots were fired?


Iowa’s open meetings law on the line

The Iowa Supreme Court heard a case yesterday that could result in a powerful blow to open meetings regulations in the state of Iowa.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors laid-off twelve county employees in March 2014. Instead of deliberating in a public meeting, the three supervisors communicated through the county administrator which positions would be eliminated. Continue…


Make Iowa juvenile court records private, group told

The court records of convicted juveniles in Iowa should be confidential and unavailable for public review, a move that would help youth who have completed probation turn their lives around, according to a state group studying justice policy reforms.

Currently, court records of juveniles convicted of crimes can be accessed on Iowa Courts Online and from court files. Continue…


Medicaid bidders in Iowa tried to keep proposals secret

Hundreds of pages were initially redacted or missing from bid documents made public last week in which private companies competing to run Iowa's $4.2 billion Medicaid program detailed their proposals and why they deserved the lucrative state contracts, a Des Moines Register investigation has found.


Critics: Nonprofits could conceal government corruption

The formation of hundreds of nonprofit groups that run or support police, ambulance or fire services across Iowa has invoked deep questions about lack of oversight that some say could leave the state vulnerable to corruption.

The concern hinges on accountability: Their nonprofit status could shelter such groups from state audits, allow for secret meetings and prohibit the public's ability to inspect detailed spending information, according to a review by The Des Moines Register of such groups' status.