Senate Delays Controversial Confirmation Vote

Apr 16, 2015

The head of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy was in charge when an assistant director was accused of sexual harassment.

Now a deadline has passed for the Iowa Senate to confirm ILEA Director Arlen Ciechanowski for another term.   

Problems at the agency surfaced during a Senate Oversight Committee hearing last year on the hiring and firing practices of the Branstad administration.     A 2012 investigation concluded assistant director Michael Quinn made offensive remarks to female recruits.   Quinn stayed in his position until Director Ciechanowski fired him last year. 

Some Democrats say there’s a lack of professionalism at the academy.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal says senators have given themselves more time to decide how to vote.

“We still have senators who have unanswered questions,” Gronstal says.  “They will get those questions answered.”  

Normally, the Senate must vote on all the Governor’s appointees by April 15th.

“Or pass a resolution to defer consideration until the end of the session,” Gronstal says.   “We have done that.  We passed that resolution yesterday.” 

Confirmation requires a two-thirds vote, or 34 Senators.     

Votes on a few other appointees have also been delayed for technical reasons.  A spokesman says Governor Branstad respects the Senate’s confirmation process and is confident the director will be confirmed.