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.

Many health care workers don’t trust vaccine, nationally and in Iowa

By: - July 20, 2021

A small survey of health care workers in Iowa care facilities suggests many of them don’t believe the COVID-19 vaccines are safe. The survey by Iowa Caregivers elicited responses from only 20 direct-care workers, but the results are consistent with some of the broader, national surveys and findings by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid […]

Iowa lawsuit over California’s hog-confinement law headed for a hearing

By: - July 20, 2021

A federal judge will hear arguments next month in a case that involves Iowa pork producers and their challenge of a California state law restricting the sale of pork in that state. The Iowa Pork Producers Association has requested a preliminary injunction that would block enforcement of California’s Proposition 12. The state of California has […]

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Iowa lags on vaccinations as the number of new COVID-19 cases climbs

By: - July 19, 2021

The average daily number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iowa is up 50% from two weeks ago, and up almost 67% from one week ago, according to the latest data from the New York Times and Washington Post. As of Sunday, Iowa’s seven-day average of confirmed new cases each day was 128, the Times reported. […]

Lawsuit over Waterloo inmate’s suicide is settled for $125,000

By: - July 19, 2021

The state of Iowa has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle a lawsuit over the 2016 suicide of an inmate housed in the Waterloo Residential Correctional Facility. In 2018, the family of Dustyn Henry sued the state of Iowa and Mike Schwab, a veteran probation and parole officer for the First Judicial District Department of […]

Iowa drops further behind in the vaccination of nursing home workers

By: - July 16, 2021

Iowa’s nursing home workers continue to lag behind those in most other states when it comes to receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Even in Iowa nursing homes where a half-dozen residents or more have died of COVID-19, the percentage of workers who have been vaccinated against the virus is as low as 48%, federal records show. […]

State agency director who quit after 19 weeks kept retention bonus

By: - July 16, 2021

Former Iowa Department of Homeland Security Director Paul Trombino kept almost $17,000 in retention-bonus pay after remaining on the job just 19 weeks. Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Trombino director of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in January and awarded him a $40,000 retention bonus for what her office called his “continued dedication […]

State panel tables open-records complaints against public health agency

By: - July 15, 2021

Editor’s note: Reporter Clark Kauffman was covering the Iowa Public Information Board meeting when he was unexpectedly asked to speak to a complaint he filed on behalf of Iowa Capital Dispatch. This article includes an edited version of some of his comments to the board, in italics, that are provided for transparency and clarity. The […]

Iowa family pursues new legal strategy in wrongful-death case

By: - July 15, 2021

If a nursing home company can sue residents to collect payment, residents should be able to sue the same company for wrongful death even if they’ve signed an arbitration agreement, an Iowa family is claiming. The family of the late James Asmus is suing the Southern Hills Specialty Care nursing home in Osceola and its […]

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‘Help me’: Iowa nursing home that’s among the nation’s worst faces no state fines

By: - July 14, 2021

A Sioux City nursing home where workers have allegedly ignored residents’ cries for help and waited 40 minutes to perform CPR on a resident with no pulse has been added to the list of the nation’s worst nursing homes. Although the owners of Countryside Healthcare Center of Sioux City are being cited for numerous, serious […]

Iowa Workforce Development director subject of new open-records complaint

By: - July 13, 2021

The Iowa Capital Dispatch has filed a formal complaint with the Iowa Public Information Board over Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend’s handling of public records requests. The news organization’s complaint centers on two separate requests for public records made with the agency in late April. The first, made on April 29, was for all […]

Elderly residents of unlicensed home pay up to $9,500 per month, state says

By: - July 12, 2021

An unlicensed home for the elderly on Des Moines’ southwest side has been admitting tenants since 2017, with the residents paying up to $9,500 per month, newly disclosed state records show. The house, now home to five tenants, appears to have been generating up to $46,800 per month for its owner, the records show. The […]

Restaurant inspection update: Gnats in whiskey, ham in a bucket and suspicious ‘poultry activity’

By: - July 12, 2021

In the past month, state and county food inspectors have cited Iowa restaurants and grocery stores for hundreds of food-safety violations, including week-old scrambled eggs, gnats floating in a whiskey bottle, a carton of ice cream submerged in a pan of raw chicken, and four-month-old sliced ham found stored in a bucket. Last week, the […]