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.

he State Capital of Iowa is reflected by the Henry A Wallace Building

Bill aims to eliminate legal fees for accessing public documents

By: - January 23, 2020

The Iowa Legislature is considering a bill that would prevent governmental agencies from charging citizens a fee to determine whether they’re entitled to see documents in the agency’s possession. The fees have been the subject of controversy for years. Under the current law, anyone who requests a government document from a public entity may be […]

Capital Dispatch files open-records complaint against agency

By: - January 23, 2020

Iowa Capital Dispatch has filed a complaint with the Iowa Public Information Board about a state agency’s public-access policies. Iowa Workforce Development requires individuals who request a document to submit their request in writing and to send it through an online portal that warns them various records are confidential and obtainable only with a subpoena […]

Is this a slot machine or a game of skill?

By: - January 16, 2020

A legal battle is heating up over the way Iowa defines casino-style “amusement devices” found in taverns across the state. Electronic games that look like slot machines are strictly regulated in Iowa, with restrictions on prizes and player age limits. But the difference between those devices and the less-regulated games of skill commonly found at […]

nterior of an empty courtroom with gavel and sounding block on the desk.

Fired fraud investigator claims she was ‘blacklisted’ by state

By: - January 15, 2020

A fired Medicaid-fraud investigator is suing the state of Iowa claiming she was “blacklisted” after complaining about the need for improved methods of preventing fraud. Wendy Dishman, who worked for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals from July 2010 through May 2015, was the administrator of the department’s Medicaid investigations division. In 2014, Dishman […]

Mental health advocates express concern over Reynolds’ plan  

By: - January 14, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds wants to use a portion of her proposed 1-cent sales tax increase to help pay for some of the mental health costs now shouldered by the counties. Reynolds would increase the statewide sales tax from 5 percent to 6 percent — Iowa also allows local governments to impose a 1 percent […]

A man uses an e-cigarette

Iowa health officials propose a ban on vaping in public 

By: - January 14, 2020

Iowa may soon join 13 other states that prohibit vaping and the use of e-cigarettes in public. Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act, enacted in 2008, prohibits smoking in almost all public places – including offices, restaurants, bars, and outdoor entertainment venues. Under new legislation proposed by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the law would be […]

‘How do you hide five grizzly bears?’

By: - January 9, 2020

Many animals from the now-closed Cricket Hollow zoo were unaccounted for when animal-welfare groups arrived to relocate them. “It was apparent that the lion’s share of the animals – no pun intended – were missing when we first arrived there,” said Amanda Howell, an attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Auditor says Iowa can’t measure Medicaid success due to bad data

By: - January 9, 2020

Iowa Auditor of State Rob Sand issued a stinging indictment of Iowa’s privatized Medicaid system Thursday, saying his office has been unable to collect reliable data to measure the quality of services provided to vulnerable Iowans. “If we can’t assess the quality of care because the data are not reliable, that certainly calls into question […]

Veterinary board won’t initiate probe of zoo vet

By: - January 8, 2020

The Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine will not initiate its own investigation into the veterinarian who worked for the recently shuttered Cricket Hollow Zoo in Manchester. The board chairman, Dr. Keith Leonard of Atlantic, said Tuesday that no one has complained to the board about the veterinary care at the privately run zoo, and the […]

Close-up of woman holding senior man's hand leaning on cane

Will Iowa outsource its protection of the elderly?  

By: - January 7, 2020

State law requires Iowa’s regional ombudsmen to “visit” care facilities — even when there’s no specific complaint to investigate — and, while there, to “observe daily routines, meals and activities.”

Uncovering Polk County’s secret list of property owners

By: - January 7, 2020

A corporation owned by Bonnie Netteland and her family owns 27 Polk County properties – child-care centers, apartment buildings and rental homes – worth $8.2 million. But if anyone was to search the county assessor’s website for all properties owned by Netteland Family Holdings, they’d be informed there are just seven such properties with a […]