Former Iowa Finance Authority director found to have sexually harassed employees, report says

Following a five-month independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations against former IFA director, a 35-page report concluded allegations were factual.


Emily Wangen, Politics Reporter

An investigation into sexual-harassment allegations against former Iowa Finance Authority Director David Jamison found that Jamison did, in fact, sexually harass women on staff, according to a Sept. 20 report on the investigation.

Jamison has categorically denied the claims, according to the report.

The investigation, conducted by Des Moines-based Weinhardt Law Firm, included 29 interviews with former and current Finance Authority employees, witnesses not employed by the state, and “high-level decision-makers in state government,” including Gov. Kim Reynolds.

In a Sept. 20 press release, Reynolds said she believes the results of the investigation confirm that she made the correct decision in terminating Jamison’s employment in March. The next month, Reynolds called for the independent investigation.

“I want everyone in state government to know that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in my administration — from anyone,” Reynolds said.

According to the 35-page report, a female Finance Authority employee, identified as Witness 1 in the report, contacted then-Chief of Staff to Reynolds Jake Ketzner to meet with Reynolds regarding an urgent matter. From there, Witness 1 and another female Finance Authority employee, identified as Witness 2, met with Ketzner and described incidents of sexual harassment that occurred.

After learning of these allegations, Reynolds met with the directors for the Departments of Administrative Services and Management Janet Phipps and David Roederer, respectively, as well as senior legal counsel Ryan Koopmans to discuss handling the situation. Reynolds terminated Jamison’s employment following the meeting.

The report recommended that state-government officials to create another system for reporting safety concerns separate from the normal reporting process.

“Leaders in state government may wish to consider creating a mechanism by which serious concerns about safety or concerns about high-ranking officials may be addressed in an immediate and tailored fashion that is outside of the normal reporting process,” the report stated.

Current reporting policies direct people with concerns about potential violations of policy to bring the matter to the attention of their direct supervisors, appointing authority, or direct designees.

“If the concern of complaint involves the employee’s immediate supervisor, the employee is encouraged to file the concern or complaint with the next highest supervisors, or, in the alternate, to the director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services,” the current policy reads.

Reynold said her administration would address the concerns raised by the report.

She noted her previous relationship with Jamison was not a factor in making the decision to terminate his employment. Jamison and Reynolds served as county treasurers at the same time, and Reynolds noted the two were friends. She said she personally had never witnessed or experienced any inappropriate actions described in the report.

“I am frustrated that Mr. Jamison created the impression that he wouldn’t face consequences because of my friendship with him,” Reynolds said on Sept. 20. “That could not be further from the truth.”