Legislator: DCI went ‘rogue’ in probe of UI, ISU athletes’ sports bets

JOHNSTON — The leader of Democrats in the Iowa House says there’s troubling testimony in recently revealed court documents about the state investigation of sports gambling among Iowa and Iowa State athletes.

House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst says the way the Division of Criminal Investigation appears to have initiated the probe raises questions. “Obviously it’s frustrating to see there’s this kind of dysfunction, this kind of lack of accountability in an agency as important as this agency,” Konfrst said during an appearance on Iowa Press on Iowa PBS.

According to court documents, a long-time DCI agent who asked to be taken off the case alleges the agency conducted an illegal search of the athletes’ online bets because it had not obtained a warrant.

Konfrst calls that scary. “They did that without permission in a way that can be really scary when you think about our liberties,” Konfrst said. “…Data privacy is something that Iowans are really concerned about and we need to look into.”

Konfrst said the DCI must account for its conduct.

“If this is the kind of place where people can go rogue and start doing things like, you know, illegally listening to other people, doing illegal searches, things like that — what are the consequences?” Konfrst asked. “…I heard the governor said it’s not up to her to address this issue, but she’s the leader. her job is to hold people accountable and I think Iowans are noticing.”

Reynolds told Radio Iowa state law requires the DCI to monitor sports gambling in the state and agents don’t check with her when they’re doing their jobs. Reynolds declined to comment further on the cases since many have yet to be resolved in court. The governor did say the state’s public safety commissioner is getting ready to provide some information about the DCI’s investigation.