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.

With staff vaccinations still lagging, new nursing home outbreaks appear

By: - November 29, 2021

Three new COVID-19 outbreaks were reported in Iowa nursing homes last week. Currently, there are 27 Iowa nursing homes in outbreak status, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health, which means that each has had at least three staffers and/or residents infected as a result of a current, active outbreak. There are a total […]

Doctor convicted in opioid scheme granted an Iowa medical license

By: - November 29, 2021

The Iowa Board of Medicine has granted a license to a physician currently on probation for his role in a criminal scheme to distribute opioids to addicts. Dr. Parth S. Bharill, now 63, entered a plea of guilty in September 2019 to one felony count of conspiracy to distribute suboxone outside the usual course of […]

Restaurant inspection update: moldy food, rodents and immediate closures

By: - November 26, 2021

In the past four weeks, state and county food inspectors have cited Iowa restaurants for hundreds of food-safety violations, including moldy vegetables, rodent activity, cockroach infestations and kitchens so filthy they triggered an immediate, temporary closure of the establishment. The findings are among those reported by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, which handles […]

Swift Pork Co. accused of discouraging workers’ use of family medical leave

By: - November 26, 2021

An Iowa man is suing Swift Pork Co., alleging it discourages workers from taking advantage of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court on behalf of Swift employee Raymond Black of Wapello County, seeks unspecified damages for alleged FMLA violations. Black’s lawsuit alleges that in 2018, […]

Doctor sued after setting up shop four blocks from former employer

By: - November 24, 2021

Mercy Medical Services is suing one of its former physicians, accusing the doctor of poaching both its employees and its patients. Mercy and its Sioux City hospital, the MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center, allege in a newly filed federal lawsuit that Dr. Stilianos Efstratiadis, a cardiology specialist, signed an employment contract with the corporation in January […]

Iowa Supreme Court says delayed parole for sex offenders isn’t unconstitutional

By: - November 23, 2021

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the state is not wrongfully detaining sex offenders by delaying the treatment they must complete to be considered for parole. The opinion issued Tuesday states that the Iowa Department of Corrections has acted reasonably in attempting to address the fact there are too many sex offenders in the system […]

Reynolds ‘disappointed’ in ruling on transgender Medicaid coverage

By: - November 22, 2021

A Polk County judge has ruled that a state law denying Medicaid coverage for gender-confirmation surgery violates the Iowa Constitution and the Iowa Civil Rights Act. A spokesman for Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday the governor “is disappointed in today’s decision and disagrees with the district court’s ruling on Medicaid coverage for transgender reassignment surgeries.” The spokesman said the governor’s staff is […]

Caregiver fired for abuse keeps his name off state registry of abusers

By: - November 22, 2021

An Iowa caregiver accused of physically abusing dependent adults was fired from his job this year after state officials offered him a deal to keep his name off the registry of known abusers. State records indicate Joseph K. DeVries was fired in July from Opportunity Living in Lake City where he had worked for eight […]

Casey’s now being sued over wages paid to pizza-delivery drivers

By: - November 21, 2021

A second lawsuit that alleges Iowa pizza-delivery drivers are being shortchanged on their wages has been filed in U.S. District Court. Recently, a lawsuit was filed alleging Iowa delivery drivers working for Domino’s Pizza were effectively earning 35 cents an hour because the company wasn’t fairly compensating the workers for the use of their own […]

Des Moines man identified as ‘Co-Conspirator No. 1’ in SBA fraud case

By: - November 19, 2021

The Iowa finance executive who allegedly conspired with others to defraud the Small Business Administration has been identified in court records as Michael Barry Slater of Des Moines. Slater is the founder and president of Vital Financial Services, a lending service provider based in Clive. He pleaded guilty this week to a charge of conspiracy […]

Court: Rape shield law doesn’t protect child victim from testifying about past abuse

By: - November 19, 2021

Iowa’s rape shield law cannot be used to protect a 10-year-old victim from cross-examination about her past relationship with a second abuser, the Iowa Supreme Court has ruled. The court said while Iowa’s rape shield law prevents defense lawyers from questioning rape victims about past sexual experience, a Sioux County case provides an exception to […]

Nursing home outbreaks remain level at 29, with slight decline in infections

By: - November 18, 2021

There are 29 Iowa nursing homes with active, ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, and 269 infections associated with those outbreaks. That’s a slight decrease from last week, when there were 29 active nursing home outbreaks and 275 infections associated with them. On Nov. 2, there were 23 Iowa care facilities with current, active outbreaks, according to the Iowa […]