DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former chief judge for the state agency that hears unemployment cases says he was fired because he stood up to his boss, who asserted her bias toward employers and against unemployed workers.
Joe Walsh oversaw 15 unemployment appeals judges from 2010 until his dismissal in 2013.
On Tuesday, he told the Senate Government Oversight Committee that Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert pushed him to develop tip sheets to help businesses avoid paying unemployment. She was appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad.
Walsh called for an independent counsel to "fully investigate all of the Branstad administration's abuses of the administrative judiciary."
A workforce development spokeswoman wouldn't comment but noted Wahlert testifies before the panel Wednesday.
Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers noted Democrats lead the hearings, calling them "thinly veiled political circus."