Representing State Government
The Transportation Division of the Iowa Attorney General Office is composed of a Special Assistant Attorney General and six Assistant Attorneys General. Pursuant to Iowa Code section 307.23 the Special Assistant Attorney General serves as the General Counsel to the Iowa Department of Transportation and the other assistants work with the Special Assistant to carry out the duties assigned by the Code to the office of General Counsel. Three legal assistants and five support staff also work in the Division’s Ames, Iowa office.
The division represents the Iowa Department of Transportation at the administrative, trial, and appellate levels in both federal and state courts in cases involving contract disputes, employment discrimination claims, constitutional challenges, environmental issues, tort claims against the state, condemnation matters, and judicial review actions.
During 2002-2003, the Division opened thirteen tort cases and closed twenty-one involving highway accidents or accidents occurring on property owned or controlled by the Department of Transportation and involving personal injury or property damage. During this same period the Division opened 90 judicial review proceedings and closed 123, all actions where parties appealed to the district court level from administrative actions by the Department of Transportation. The division also represented the Department in thirteen new condemnation appeals in district court and closed thirteen condemnation actions.
Three legal assistants supervised by Assistant Attorneys General represent the department in OWI license revocation hearings pending before administrative law judges from the Department of Inspections and Appeals. During 2002-2003, Attorney General paralegals appeared in 1,461 DOT administrative hearings.
The legal staff also provides non-litigation services to the department. Division staff routinely consulted with division personnel through 2002-2003 in matters involving statutes, court decisions, state and federal regulations, and policy matters. Division attorneys also reviewed contracts, easements, and proposed legislation and administrative rules affecting the Iowa Department of Transportation.