Accused harasser will no longer work at Iowa State games
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State University said Thursday that a former state government official who was fired for sexually harassing women will no longer work as a security contractor at its athletic events.
The announcement came hours after The Associated Press reported that Dave Jamison had been working at recent Cyclones games, despite the state’s decision to pay millions of dollars to women who say they were harassed by him for years.
Gov. Kim Reynolds fired Jamison last March as director of the Iowa Finance Authority after two women filed complaints saying they felt increasingly unsafe after long enduring uncomfortable treatment.
An independent investigation that was made public in September verified their allegations, which included showing pornography, routinely making comments about sex and women’s bodies and one groping incident that could be considered assault. State officials agreed last week to pay an unprecedented $4.15 million to those two women to avoid lawsuits, and they are now considering a request by State Auditor Rob Sand to seek restitution from Jamison personally.
Jamison had been working as an employee for the Contemporary Services Corporation, which provides crowd management and security services for Iowa State basketball and football games. But CSC informed Iowa State on Thursday that Jamison will no longer be assigned to school events, university spokesman John McCarroll said. It’s unclear whether Jamison still had a job with CSC, which didn’t return messages seeking comment.
Sand said that it was “jaw-dropping that Iowa State has knowingly and repeatedly allowed Dave Jamison’s employment on their premises” given the state’s $4.15 million settlements.
McCarroll had said earlier that the university’s contract gave CSC the authority to select and hire its own employees and determine which ones to provide services at football and basketball games. He said that CSC was also responsible for managing its employees during events.
But the contract, which was released Thursday under the open records law, shows that Iowa State can notify the company “if at any time ISU feels that any employee of CSC is not satisfactory.” The company can attempt to correct the employee’s conduct, but if the employee remains unacceptable, Iowa State can “demand that CSC cease using said employee for the provision of services under this agreement.”
Jill Zwagerman, a Des Moines attorney who has represented victims of sexual harassment and discrimination, said Jamison’s job created liability risks for the company and the university should another incident occur, given Jamison’s known history of alleged harassment.
“When you know that someone has a propensity to do that, and when it’s that extreme, it is risky,” said Zwagerman, who did not represent Jamison’s accusers.
Zwagerman questioned why the company would send Jamison to work at Iowa State games in the first place, and why the university would not prevent him from working around thousands of its students and fans.
CSC asks job applicants to explain the reason for leaving their previous employment and whether they can make “guests feel at home by proactively anticipating their needs and offering assistance,” according to its online application.
It’s unclear whether Jamison was hired by CSC before or after the publication of the state’s independent investigation, which described his “aggressive and harassing treatment” of the two women and another less severe incident with a third. A fourth woman who says she was also harassed didn’t cooperate with investigators.
Jamison hasn’t been charged with a crime and has denied wrongdoing, although the investigation said that his denials weren’t credible given testimony from others and documentation. He didn’t return a message seeking comment Thursday.
Jamison, 61, had led the Iowa Finance Authority since 2011. The agency’s board agreed last week to dip into a revolving loan fund to reimburse the state budget for the $4.15 million settlement expense.
Before she fired him, Jamison was longtime friends and allies of Gov. Kim Reynolds dating back to the 1990s when Jamison served as the Story County treasurer.