Iowa governor-elect nominates nursing home regulator with ties to industry

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Gov.-elect Terry Branstad (R-IA)
Gov.-elect Terry Branstad (R-IA)

Iowa Gov.-elect Terry Branstad (R) has nominated Rod Roberts to head Iowa's Department of Inspections. This, despite critics' allegations that Roberts has conflicts of interest, The Des Moines Register reported.

Roberts is an Iowa state legislator and a former Republican gubernatorial candidate who has sat on the board of the New Hope Village care center and its charitable foundation, in Carroll, IA, the newspaper said. His wife, Patricia, reportedly worked at St. Anthony Regional Hospital and Nursing Home in Carroll for about 17 years. Now, she is the director of development for a foundation that gives St. Anthony financial support. Also, Patricia works for a lobbying organization in support of Iowa hospitals, according to the newspaper.

When Branstad was running for governor he made statements on Iowa Public Television criticizing Iowa's nursing home regulators, accusing them of having a “gotcha” attitude with regard to reporting nursing home code violations. A spokesman for Branstad says the governor-elect is certain there are no conflicts of interest between Roberts and his involvement in the nursing home industry.