Ethics complaint against former Culver aide dismissed

Larew now representing Muscatine residents suing Grain Processing Corp.

The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board has dismissed a complaint against Jim Larew, an Iowa City attorney and aide to former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver.

Larew, who served as Culver's general counsel and chief of staff from 2007 to 2011, is now representing Muscatine residents suing Grain Processing Corp. based on allegations of long-term air pollution.

GPC, which makes corn-based products including ethyl alcohol and corn syrup, filed a complaint with the ethics board in July, alleging Larew's representation of the Muscatine residents violated Iowa law that prohibits former state employees from working in the private sector for two years on cases they also dealt with in state government.

The ethics board met Sept. 26 and determined Larew did not break the law. The board dismissed the complaint Nov. 16.

"The Ethics Board believes it would be a waste of resources to investigate the allegations made in the voluminous court documents attached to the complaint," the dismissal order states.

The lawsuit against GPC claims air-quality tests have confirmed potential health risks for people who live near the corn milling plant. Soot and smoke also damage personal property and real estate, the suit alleges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cited GPC in March for repeatedly violating the Clean Air Act between 2007 and 2011.

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