Reasons why public employees in Iowa were recently fired
Jul. 18, 2017
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Using a new state law, The Associated Press obtained the details of dozens of terminations, resignations, and demotions of public workers from some of the largest executive branch agencies, cities and school districts. Here are some of the cases uncovered:
— A cashier in the Polk County treasurer's office manipulated dates or procedures on 99 vehicle registration and property tax transactions to reduce fees, late penalties and interest. The employee was fired for what the office called a "serious breach" of trust that resulted in $1,632 of uncollected fees.
— A Polk County Sheriff's Officer was fired after he was accused of "knowingly, willingly and maliciously" submitting dozens of falsified mileage reimbursement records. He allegedly requested reimbursement for 2,212 miles that he didn't drive by claiming he lived at an old address in Stanhope rather than his current residence in Ankeny. The office didn't pay the $1,194 reimbursement.
— A Polk County jailer was fired after allowing two inmates to take a phone call from another person on a duty station phone inside a utility closet. The officer allegedly knew the purpose of the call was to plan an assault on another inmate who had insulted one of their wives.
— The Cedar Rapids Community School District fired a custodian who was accused of removing district property. The district refused to elaborate.
— The Sioux City Police Department terminated a records technician whom the chief blamed for creating a "hostile and at times toxic work environment."
— The Department of Human Services fired a call center employee who routinely gave erroneous information to individuals requesting information about income-based benefits.
— A nurse at a juvenile detention center was fired after letting her license expire.
— A worker at the mental health institute in Independence was let go after showing up three hours late and apparently drunk.
— The City of Davenport fired a bus driver on her first day after she backed into a wall and then constantly used her cell phone while riding along with another driver. She had been warned during training about falling asleep and being inattentive.
— Iowa Workforce Development fired an employee who sent more than 1,000 letters to unemployment benefits claimants without proper authorization. The employee was also accused of failing to correct a problem with an employer's unemployment account, which cost the company money and "exposed the agency to liability."
— IWD fired an employee from its Cedar Rapids office who was accused of multiple violations of the state's substance abuse policy by "displaying symptoms" of intoxication.