Ethics board clears Gov. Reynolds over self-promotion claim involving mask-wearing ads

Iowa News

Gov. Kim Reynolds appears in ad to promote mask-wearing. (WHO 13)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa’s Ethics Board has found that Gov. Kim Reynolds didn’t violate any laws when she appeared in a series of taxpayer-funded advertisements last fall.

The State Auditor’s Office released findings of an investigation back in June, in which Auditor Rob Sand accused the governor of using public money to promote her own image when she appeared in several ads encouraging mask-wearing.

The ads also featured other prominent Iowans like Dan Gable, Carson King, and former governor Tom Vilsack.

The governor’s spokesman, Pat Garrett, released a statement on the board’s findings.

The ethics board’s unanimous decision validates what was already clear.  The governor was right and her actions were supported by both Iowa law and commonsense. Auditor Sand chose not to meet with our team regarding his concern or his investigation. If he had, all of this could have been avoided and we would have pointed him to an essential part of the law that he missed.

Pat Garrett, governor’s spokesman

Sand expressed his displeasure with the board’s ruling in a Facebook post saying, “A sad day for taxpayers & for the rule of law when a board full of the Gov’s own appointees decides she can do what the law against self-promotion with taxpayer funds clearly makes illegal — especially after her ’emergency’ justification for it had two plainly false statements.”

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