For fired Iowa agent’s lawsuit, a long road ahead

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A lawsuit alleging that an Iowa agent was wrongly fired for reporting Gov. Terry Branstad’s speeding vehicle and other misconduct sounds promising, but might not be a slam dunk.

Thursday’s lawsuit filed by former Division of Criminal Investigation agent Larry Hedlund will face stiff resistance from state lawyers, who are likely to seek to have the case dismissed on technicalities before the merits are discussed.

If his claims survive, Hedlund will have to convince jurors that his bosses did not have any legitimate reason to fire him. Then, he’ll have to convince a judge that it is a clearly defined Iowa public policy to protect police from retaliation for complaining about speeding vehicles.

Hedlund’s attorney Tom Duff says it won’t be easy and could take 18 months before a trial.

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