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Court: University of Iowa must comply with subpoena on utilities deal

Given that it was one of the largest transactions in Iowa history, they say it was appropriate for Sand to seek to audit the deal even before it closed.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this May 3, 2006, file photo, University of Iowa students walk past the Old Capitol building in Iowa City, Iowa a few days before the building was to open to the public for the first time since being heavily damaged in a fire on Nov. 20, 2001. The University of Iowa filed a lawsuit in October 2016 against the contractor it hired to restore and improve the campus icon after the 2001 fire destroyed parts of the building. The university says it discovered construction deficiencies in 2011 that the contractor has since refused to correct. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa Supreme Court says the University of Iowa must comply with a subpoena from the state auditor that seeks the names of investors in a multibillion-dollar utilities privatization agreement it completed last year. 

Justices ruled Friday that State Auditor Rob Sand acted appropriately when he subpoenaed details about the 50-year plan granting the right to operate campus utilities to a consortium of French companies in exchange for a $1.165 billion payment. 

Given that it was one of the largest transactions in Iowa history, they say it was appropriate for Sand to seek to audit the deal even before it closed to ensure the school followed bidding processes and had no conflicts of interest with investors.

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