State trooper gives pass to Iowa governor’s driver

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Audio recordings indicate a state trooper pursued a speeding SUV carrying Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, but did not pull the driver over after realizing who was inside the vehicle.

The recordings released Tuesday to The Associated Press capture dispatchers laughing about the April incident near Fort Dodge.

Now, the Iowa Department of Public Safety is reviewing the handling of the incident.

A Division of Criminal Investigation special agent who initiated the pursuit, Larry Hedlund, has been placed on leave. Hedlund’s attorney, Tom Duff, says Hedlund was put on leave after complaining that the governor’s driver — a trooper — had put public safety at risk.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says the governor and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds were inside the SUV, but were unaware of the incident until Tuesday.

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