Did Iowa’s Governor Keep A Sexual Harassment Suit Under Wraps Before Election?

By on March 5, 2019

March 5, 2019

Shortly before her election in November, the administration of Iowa Republican Governor Kim Reynolds okayed a highly unusual settlement of a pending sexual harassment lawsuit, before it had even been filed. (Reynolds, a former lieutenant governor, was already governor at the time, having taken over the position in 2017 when Governor Terry Branstad became President Trump’s ambassador to China.) The settlement included more than $4 million for two female plaintiffs who had worked for former Iowa Finance Authority Director Dave Jamison, a Reynolds ally and former colleague, going back to when they were both county officials. The settlement demand was made in writing by the attorney for one of the women a few weeks before the November election, and it included a warning that if there were no settlement, she would conduct extensive discovery into the friendship between Governor Reynolds and Jamison. According to an AP account of the matter, Reynolds has called Jamison “a family friend whom she knew as a heavy-drinking partier with an odd sense of humor but has denied knowledge of his misconduct.” According to the settlement-demand letter, Reynolds and Jamison likely attended “dozens – if not hundreds” of conferences together over the years. Jamison’s behavior is said to have been worse during such conferences, according to the letter, “and we will conduct extensive discovery concerning all of them.” The office of Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, said it recommended settlement after an independent investigation, and that politics did not play a part in that recommendation.

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Des Moines Register

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