Iowans who handle public records requests for government bodies gained more protection from possible retaliation on June 23, when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that former Iowa Department of Public Health communications director Polly Carver-Kimm can proceed with both of her wrongful termination claims against the state.
Four justices affirmed a Polk County District Court decision, which allowed Carver-Kimm to allege under Iowa’s whistleblower statute that she was wrongly forced to resign in July 2020, and that Iowa’s open records law protected her activities when fulfilling records requests for the public health agency.
The Iowa Supreme Court did reverse one part of the lower court’s ruling. All seven justices determined that Governor Kim Reynolds and her former spokesperson Pat Garrett should be dismissed as individual defendants, because they lacked the “power to authorize or compel” Carver-Kimm’s termination.
But the impact of the majority decision in Carver-Kimm v. Reynolds extends far beyond the named defendants in one lawsuit.Continue Reading...