DES MOINES, Iowa -- On August 22, 2019, the State Auditor’s Office released a report regarding alleged employee misconduct that led to the improper issuance of private investigator, private security, and/or bail enforcement licenses without a nationwide background check.
The Department of Public Safety requested assistance from the State Auditor’s Office and Commissioner Stephan Bayens participated in a joint press conference this morning, providing the following statement:
“The Iowa Department of Public Safety holds dear the public’s trust. When an employee allegedly engages in conduct that tarnishes that trust, we take that matter seriously. Once the Department discovered the conduct, we took swift action to investigate and correct what had occurred. Within the first few days, the Department contacted the State Auditor’s Office for assistance and immediately opened parallel personnel and criminal investigations. We cooperated with the Auditor’s Office, terminated the employee’s employment, and submitted our criminal investigative reports to the Polk County Attorney’s Office for review of possible legal action.
While those investigations were ongoing, the Department began tackling the 5,817 permits that were issued without a supporting nationwide background check. As of the present date, we have resolved 90% of the permits in question and anticipate having the remaining 10% cleared in the next 60 to 75 days.
I want to thank Auditor Sand and his office for their fine work and thoughtful recommendations to make the current permitting system stronger and less vulnerable to employee misconduct. Finally, I want to thank the diligent employees of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, who not only brought this matter to light, but have been working tirelessly to resolve these improperly issued permits while doing their level best to meet their daily duties.”