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Agent fired in Branstad case now to be private investigator

Published: Thursday, April 10, 2014 11:05 a.m. CDT

IOWA CITY (AP) — The veteran Iowa criminal investigator fired after reporting Gov. Terry Branstad’s speeding SUV is going into business as a private investigator.

Former Division of Criminal Investigation agent Larry Hedlund of Fort Dodge said Wednesday he’s obtained his private investigator’s license and founded Hedlund Investigations.

His new business card touts his 25 years of experience in investigations and a motto of, “truth, trust and tenacity.” He said he envisions investigating everything from unsolved homicides to potential wrongful convictions, police misconduct and more in both criminal and civil cases.

Hedlund continues to sue the state and three of his former superiors for retaliation and wrongful termination. He initiated a traffic pursuit last May in which a trooper driving Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds was clocked traveling 84 mph in a 65-mph highway zone but not stopped after responding officers learned it was the governor’s state vehicle.

After the incident, Hedlund complained to superiors in the Iowa Department of Public Safety that troopers driving Branstad were routinely allowed to speed and endanger public safety. He was removed from duty days later, and fired following an internal affairs investigation. Branstad denies retaliation, and department officials say Hedlund was fired for insubordination, which he denies.