Author

Clark Kauffman

Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.

Iowa sued over agency’s alleged failure to turn over Test Iowa emails

By: - July 30, 2021

The Iowa Department of Public Health, already fighting formal complaints claiming it has repeatedly violated Iowa’s Open Records Law, is now being sued over access to records related to a $26 million no-bid contract. Suzette Rasmussen, a lawyer from Draper, Utah, is suing the Iowa Department of Public Health and its spokesperson, Sarah Ekstrand. The […]

Iowa doctor accused of incompetence faces fifth round of licensing sanctions

By: - July 29, 2021

An eastern Iowa physician who has faced disciplinary charges on four previous occasions and been hit with an $18.1 million malpractice verdict is now facing allegations of incompetence. Dr. Lynette Iles, a 57-year-old physician who practices family medicine in Washington, Iowa, is accused by the Iowa Board of Medicine of professional incompetence, failure to comply […]

State officials silent on agency-head departures and purged text messages

By: - July 29, 2021

State officials are not answering questions about this year’s unexpected departure of the director of homeland security and they refused for weeks to address the departure of the head of the Iowa Veterans Home. On May 7, Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office announced Iowa Veterans Home Commandant Timon Oujiri had been “relieved of his duties,” but […]

Auditor: Iowa Veterans Home leader knew he collected $105k in excess pay

By: - July 29, 2021

The former head of the Iowa Veterans Home collected $105,413 in improper, excess wages since 2019, Iowa Auditor of State Rob Sand said Thursday. A new report from the auditor’s office says former IVH Commandant Timon Oujiri collected $90,027 in questionable gross wages and $15,386 in related payroll costs. The excess pay and benefits were […]

DM district sued by student who says teacher had sex with her at school

By: - July 28, 2021

A former high school student is suing the Des Moines public school district, alleging her Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructor repeatedly had sex with her in a school office. The woman was identified in court records only as Jane Doe. She states that in her freshman year of high school, she became active in […]

Iowa law on gender-affirming surgery generates more litigation

By: - July 27, 2021

This story has been updated from the original version to correct Mika Covington’s first name. The state of Iowa is facing yet another round of litigation over efforts to ban Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgery. In 2019, the Iowa Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that said state regulations denying Medicaid coverage for […]

Judge: Iowa nurse was justified in quitting ‘unsafe’ nursing home

By: - July 26, 2021

An Iowa judge has ruled that a nurse was justified in quitting her job at a Lee County nursing home due to concerns that staffing levels were unlawful and were unsafe for residents. State records indicate Kristin Pullins had worked for the Montrose Health Center since 2018 as a full-time registered nurse. In early 2020, […]

Jobless benefits update: Abuse, harassment and ‘Weenie Bite’ ruminations

By: - July 26, 2021

Hundreds of Iowans left jobless amid allegations of harassment, ethics violations and other forms of misconduct have had their claims for unemployment benefits decided by an administrative law judge in recent weeks. In some cases, the workers were found to have committed misconduct, while other cases involve employers whose actions left the workers with no […]

Lawsuits filed by Tyson workers over COVID-19 still on hold

By: - July 23, 2021

Before he died of COVID-19 last year, Arthur Scott of Waterloo worked in a Tyson Foods plant that manufactures dog treats. Even so, Tyson claims it cannot be sued in state court for contributing to Scott’s death because the company was trying to secure the nation’s food supply and critical infrastructure when it kept the […]

Report: Iowa hospitals not complying with price-disclosure law

By: - July 22, 2021

At least five Iowa hospitals have yet to comply with a federal law requiring them to be more open in disclosing their prices to consumers, according to a new report. The law took effect on Jan. 1, 2021, and requires almost all of the nation’s 6,000 hospitals to post online detailed price breakdowns for at […]

Addictions counselor accused of having sex with client

By: - July 22, 2021

The Iowa Board of Social Work has accused an Iowa-licensed social worker of sending videos and texts of a sexual nature to a client. The board alleges Kristal Lake of Kimballton sent sexually explicit text messages, photos and videos to a client. She is charged by the board with making suggestive, lewd, lascivious or improper […]

Iowa group that backed Ernst fights to block donor disclosure

By: - July 21, 2021

A group that supported U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst’s 2020 re-election bid is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit it says would give “the wolf the keys to the henhouse” and allow others to “rifle through” records pertaining to its donors. The Clive-based group Iowa Values allegedly spent close to $1.5 million supporting the […]