Iowa Court Says UofIowa Settlement Agreement is a Public Record

In a victory for government transparency,a judge has ordered the University of Iowa to release

Image representing Associated Press as depicte...

Image via CrunchBase

a resignation agreement with a former medical employee who filed a lawsuit trying to keep the document and his own identity a secret.

District Judge Thomas Reidel agreed with The Associated Press that the settlement was a public record under Iowa law and said the public has a right to know the details, including a $100,000 bonus offered if he left the university’s employment before a specific date. He dismissed claims by the former College of Medicine employee _ identified in court records only as “John Doe” _ that the record was a confidential employment contract.

Reidel ordered the document to be released immediately in his ruling last week, but that process wasn’t completed Monday, meaning Doe’s identity and reason for resigning remain shielded from the public for now. Doe could also seek to suspend the ruling and appeal. His lawyer didn’t immediately return messages.

When released, the document is expected to shed light on the school’s handling of a messy personnel dispute during a period when other cases were under scrutiny. The medical school was criticized for moving too slowly last year to get rid of a doctor who was charged with faking his own stabbing in Chicago and investigated for viewing child pornography. Another doctor suspended for unprofessional behavior has filed a lawsuit accusing medical school officials of discrimination and retaliation.

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