Gov. says state can’t release license plate data

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is defending his administration’s decision to withhold information about how many times law enforcement has checked the license plate of the governor’s official vehicle.

Citing Branstad’s former public safety commissioner, the Gazette newspaper in Cedar Rapids reported Saturday that the governor’s vehicle plates had been run through police databases more than 20 times since 2011.

The Associated Press in July requested information showing when the plate was run. That could show whether the vehicle had been pursued or gotten out of photo-enforced speeding or red light tickets. But after agreeing to the request, the administration later said the data must be kept confidential.

Branstad claimed Monday he cannot release the information under federal law.

Two troopers have been disciplined this year for speeding while transporting Branstad.

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