Following impressive work serving Iowans, Branstad gives Beth Townsend a bonus Print
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Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 14 January 2013 15:36

Townsend changed culture of Iowa Civil Rights Commission to one of dedicated service

 

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today announced he has given Iowa Civil Rights Commission Director Beth Townsend a bonus of $5,000 for her impressive work turning the culture of the Commission into one of service to Iowans.

“Beth has turned the Iowa Civil Rights Commission into an exemplary department striving to serve the people of Iowa,” said Branstad. “Beth’s impressive leadership and management has resulted in more efficient case work, reduced back log, streamlined intake and increased quality.”

In June 2011, three Iowa Civil Rights Commission employees were dismissed after a Townsend investigation found they were sending hundreds of emails to each other on personal accounts calling their peers derogatory nicknames during business hours. One of the employees sent, on average, 75 emails a day on his personal account from March 2011 – June 1, 2011. The increase in personal emails resulted in slower case investigation.

“Lt. Gov. Reynolds and I made a commitment to change the culture of state government to one that serves the people of Iowa, not the other way around,” Branstad continued. “Iowans deserve a responsive Civil Rights Commission that gives them a fair hearing and takes each investigation seriously.”

Under Director Townsend’s leadership, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has:

-          In FY12, reduced the non-housing investigative backlog from 260 cases to 118 cases and a reduction in the average age of cases from over 535 days to 356 days.

-          In FY12, reduced age of the oldest cases in the backlog from complaints filed in 2001 to those filed in December, 2010.

-          Remain on track to eliminate the backlog entirely by the end of FY13.

-          Streamlined complaint intake process, reducing the initial processing time by 71% and reducing the number of delays in the process by over 50%.    Complaints are now being processed within 24-48 hours of receipt of the complaint, as opposed to historical average of 8-10 days.

-          Significantly increased the overall quality and timeliness of all screening and investigative decisions prepared by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

-          Probable cause rate increased 8x in FY12 from previous year and was higher than in any year over the past decade Townsend’s current salary is $97,000, the highest possible for her position. The governor’s practice is to utilize bonuses to provide a recognition and reward for exemplary performance.

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