Iowa regulator retires, citing 'grossly unfair' treatment
Jul. 30, 2018
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The executive director of the Iowa Board of Medicine abruptly retired Monday following a personnel investigation in which he says he was treated unfairly by state administrators and pressured to quit.
Mark Bowden released a retirement letter on Monday morning, following the board's vote to reinstate him to his position Friday. The board, however, had planned to reconsider Bowden's employment status behind closed doors on Monday, an evaluation that was averted following news of Bowden's retirement.
Until Friday, Bowden had been on leave for one month during an investigation involving allegations that state officials have not made public. He indicated Friday he had faced pressure to resign in lieu of termination but told the board he would not do so, saying his resignation wasn't warranted.
In his retirement letter, Bowden said that his work had been hindered in recent months by "substantial deficiencies in service and a lack of adequate support" from the Department of Public Health and Department of Administrative Services.
"The grossly unfair way in which I was treated by the personnel staff of those departments and state counsel during the past month broke the trust and confidence I need to effectively lead and administer the agency," he wrote. "Consequently, I am retiring from state service."
The public health department declined comment on the claims from Bowden, who had led the board for the past 10 years. DAS spokeswoman Tami Wiencek didn't respond to an inquiry seeking comment, and Gov. Kim Reynolds' press secretary declined comment.
The regulatory board is responsible for licensing physicians and acupuncturists and investigating complaints of misconduct against them.
Bowden, a former newspaper executive, said he was proud of the work he had done to improve medical licensing and compliance and enforcing regulations that protect patients. He thanked board members for having "the mettle to do what's right — even in the face of adversity or pressure to do otherwise."