After months of denial, the human resources agency for Iowa’s state government released a list of hundreds of former workers who are barred from ever returning to state government because of performance.
Mike Carroll, director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, denied the existence of the list to state lawmakers for months, but the list was eventually revealed to The Associated Press following a four-month push for access through the public records law.
“There is no ‘blacklist.’ There is no ‘do-not-hire’ list. There is no list,” Carroll told state lawmakers, just days before the list was revealed.
Carroll has subsequently been fired.
The list identifies 975 workers who are disqualified from future employee with the state because they were either fired or resigned before termination. Most are barred from working for the state again, while some are disqualified from specific departments or jobs.
The AP first reported the banning of employees last month despite questions if that practice is legal or fair. The spreadsheet shows the practice is far-reaching with the state government, including everyone from social workers to corrections officers.
DAS initially claimed the request would require 280 hours to remove confidential information and cost the AP $11,565. After the AP protested and renewed its request, DAS reversed its course and released the spreadsheet for free. But the department withheld names of roughly 675 fired probationary and at-will employees, claiming they’re not public record.
The list does not include why each person was fired as that information is considered confidential in the state. Some employees have tried to have their names removed from the list through an appeal process, but that is rarely successful, according to the Des Moines Register.