On March 19, Sen. William Dotzler, D-Waterloo, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor. He asked the agency to begin “an immediate investigation into improper actions by Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert.” Among his allegations: Wahlert is pressuring administrative law judges to rule in favor of employers and against workers in unemployment benefit cases. He claimed that she has created a “hostile work environment” for those “who do not abide by her pro-employer, anti-employee philosophy.”
Wahlert denied Dotzler’s allegations. We don’t know whether Dotzler is telling the truth, nor do we know whether Wahlert’s version is the most accurate. But we do know that Gov. Terry Branstad’s supposed investigation of the matter leaves much to be desired and suggests that putting out a political fire is more important to him than getting to the bottom of the serious allegations against a Branstad appointee.