An SUV careens down Westbound Highway 20 in Iowa at 90 mph with a state trooper following in hot pursuit. However, when the trooper gets close he recognizes the vehicle is that of Governor Terry Branstad and he stands down.
This happened on April 26th according to audio recordings obtained by the Houston Chronicle. One can clearly hear the trooper report the owner of the speeding vehicle to dispatchers. One can also hear the dispatcher laughing. However, it was no laughing matter for the special agent Larry Hedlund, who, just days later, was put on administrative leave.
The event occurred on a Friday and on Monday Hedlund complained to officials about the Governor’s driver being let go without even a warning. Hedlund’s attorney argues that the special agent was put on leave only because Hedlund complained to officials about the Governor’s driver putting the public at risk and not for failing to issue a speeding citation. However, the Governor’s spokesman has denied this allegation.
The department was also stated that Hedlund’s forced leave of absence is not related to the incident but will not release his formal complaint to the public.
Before the trooper pursued the Governor’s vehicle, special agent Hedlund had clocked the black Chevrolet Tahoe and grew suspicious when the license plate did not show up in the dispatcher’s system. The Governor was returning home to Des Moines after an event.
It is still unclear why Hedlund has been asked to leave but he is eager to return. Though caught speeding, the Governor is in no rush to give any answers.