Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

DES MOINES, Iowa (Gray Television Iowa Capitol Bureau) – Amid questions of possible misconduct by investigators looking into alleged sports wagering by student athletes, Iowa Democrats at the statehouse are calling for oversight hearings, but don’t think they’ll get them.

Attorneys for some of the student athletes charged accuse the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation of placing geofences without a warrant around dorms and athletic facilities at Iowa and ISU campuses. In court filings, an attorney for former Cyclones Defensive Lineman Isaiah Lee, says a DCI agent was told to stop his investigation, but did not.

At Iowa Democrats’ weekly press conference Thursday, House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst says she wants answers.

“We have some real questions about how people are performing their work, and if someone went against what their bosses said in an organization, we want to look at the leadership of that organization and see why that was allowed and why it was possible,” Konfrst said.

Senate Minority Leader Pam Jochum says she too wants more answers from DCI, but doesn’t think Senate President Amy Sinclair, who chairs the Government Oversight Committee, will join her in that.

“I would say that that would be a good issue for the Oversight Committee. Unfortunately, the chairwoman of that committee just has no desire to hold a meeting,” Jochum said.

Republican State Senator Dan Dawson of Council Bluffs, who is a DCI Special Agent, says instead of putting DCI down, lawmakers should instead take a look at the state’s gambling laws.

“It’s easy to play into politics here, but every law that we pass around here, we charge some executive agency to actually come around and try and enforce it to the best of our intent. If we don’t like the outcome of the laws, then go back and revisit the laws,” Dawson said.

Jochum says Democrats could try and hold their own meetings about it, but it wouldn’t be an official oversight meeting.

Conner Hendricks covers government and politics for Gray Television-owned stations in Iowa. Email him at conner.hendricks@gray.tv; and follow him on Facebook at Conner Hendricks TV or on X/Twitter @ConnerReports.

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