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.

Patient sues Iowa hospital over alleged burns caused by scalding coffee

By: - April 20, 2022

A Dallas County man is suing a central Iowa hospital over serious burns he allegedly sustained from scalding coffee that was spilled into his lap. Jay Becker of Adel is suing Central Iowa Health System and three of its affiliates — Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Unity Point Health of Des Moines and the DMM Cardiac […]

Former bank executive fined $500 for her role in scheme to defraud SBA

By: - April 19, 2022

One of the defendants in a million-dollar banking scheme to defraud the federal government has been fined $500 for her role in the matter. U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose on Tuesday sentenced Susan McLaughlin of the now-shuttered Valley Bank in Moline, Illinois, to time served on a felony conviction of conspiracy to commit mail fraud […]

Former Iowa City doctor accused of professional incompetence

By: - April 19, 2022

A former Iowa City physician has been charged by the Iowa Board of Medicine with professional incompetence. Dr. Shafik N. Wassef, a 38-year-old Iowa-licensed physician who formerly practiced in Iowa City, is charged by the board with four violations of the rules governing the practice of medicine in Iowa. They include professional incompetence related to […]

Iowa leads the nation in puppy mills cited for federal violations

By: - April 18, 2022

Iowa is leading the nation this year in puppy mills sanctioned by the federal government. A national animal welfare group, Bailing Out Benji, has reviewed the detailed inspection reports filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the first quarter of 2022. Those reports include inspectors’ observations and professional assessments of breeders and brokers whose […]

Restaurant update: Flies in the cheese, ants in the sugar and moldy ribs

By: - April 18, 2022

State and county food inspectors have cited Iowa restaurants and grocery stores for hundreds of food-safety violations in the past month, including undercooked burgers and moldy rib sandwiches. One eastern Iowa eatery was cited for 14 serious, risk-factor violations, with inspectors noting that “large ants” had invaded a bulk container of sugar and food was […]

Eastern Iowa lawyer loses license over ‘theft’ of client funds

By: - April 17, 2022

The Iowa Supreme Court has revoked the license of an eastern Iowa attorney for “an act of theft” and for his neglect of clients’ legal matters. In 2020, the Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board had charged attorney John Karl Fischer, of the Fischer Law Firm in Vinton, with more than a dozen ethics rule […]

Community college sued for casino’s refusal to turn over winnings

By: - April 14, 2022

A Webster County woman is suing Iowa Central Community College after being denied her gambling winnings at an Iowa casino. Clarisa Bernard’s lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court, alleges the college and its hired debt-collection firm, Hauge Associates, have violated both state and federal debt-collection laws. Bernard alleges that “at some point in […]

State senator embroiled in legal fight over ‘buxom barmaid’ of the ’50s

By: - April 14, 2022

Litigation involving a long-dead Des Moines bartender known for her ability to serve beer from her bosom has landed in federal court amid new allegations of violent threats against a state senator. Two years ago, the estate of Ruthie Bisignano sued Des Moines’ Exile Brewing Co. for the alleged unpermitted use of her persona to […]

Lawsuit could redefine utilities board’s role in wind energy expansion

By: - April 13, 2022

In a case that could redefine the powers of the Iowa Utilities Board and shape the expansion of wind energy in Iowa, MidAmerican Energy is asking a judge to review the regulator’s authority to oversee the general business practices of utility companies. At issue is the conflict that occurs when wind turbines are installed on […]

Three-year fight over horse’s failed drug test nears the finish line

By: - April 13, 2022

A Polk County District Court judge is considering the case of a horse that failed a drug test at Prairie Meadows shortly after placing second in the 2019 Iowa Derby. Steve Asmussen, the state-licensed trainer for the horse, has alleged that his horse may have fallen victim to a worker who had the chemical Atenolol […]

Group that backed Ernst seeks FEC documents in fight to keep its own records secret

By: - April 12, 2022

A group that supported U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst’s 2020 reelection bid is asking a federal judge to force the Federal Election Commission to turn over information related its handling of a complaint. The Clive-based group Iowa Values allegedly spent close to $1.5 million supporting the Iowa Republican senator’s successful reelection campaign and is now being […]

Medicaid suspends payments to Newton home owned by GOP donor

By: - April 11, 2022

Medicaid has temporarily suspended payments to an Iowa nursing home accused of insufficient staffing and poor resident care. Accura Healthcare of Newton-East was cited last month for 10 violations of federal quality-of-care standards, including failing to prevent bed sores, failure to maintain residents’ nutritional and hydration status, failure to maintain sufficient staffing among the nurses, […]