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.

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 […]

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 […]

covid-19 cell pastel

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 […]