AP NEWS

Superintendent fired from post at center for disabled Iowans

December 31, 2019 GMT

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) — The superintendent of an Iowa care center for people with intellectual disabilities has been fired amid a federal investigation into the facility.

Jerry Rea was notified in a letter Monday that he was being discharged from Iowa Department of Human Services employment and his position at the Glenwood Resource Center.

“This action is being taken as a result of a mounting list of disregard for policies and procedures,” said the letter signed by Rick Shults, who oversees the departments mental health and disability services division.

Efforts by The Associated Press to reach Rea on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Rea was placed on paid leave earlier this month. Marsha Edgington, who oversees the state-run Woodward Resource Center, will continue as interim superintendent at Glenwood.

The Glenwood center is 145 miles (233.4 kilometers) southwest of Des Moines and cares for about 250 individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The state learned of federal investigation’s at the Glenwood and Woodward centers in a Nov. 21 letter to state officials from an assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Woodward investigation appears to focus on whether individuals are placed in the most integrated setting appropriate, a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Woodward serves about 180 patients with intellectual disabilities and is 31 miles (49.9 kilometers) north of Des Moines.

Few details have been released about the federal investigation into Glenwood that was first reported by The Des Moines Register. The Nov. 21 letter said the investigation was focusing on whether the state was violating the federal rights of residents by placing them at risk with experiments that including using residents as subjects of sexual arousal research.

Rea was once an adjunct assistant research professor at the University of Kansas and has published several research papers on sexual behavior involving individuals with intellectual disabilities.