Joel Ehler

NTSB investigators, left, who declined to give their names, and Iowa State Patrol lieutenant Joel Ehler listen as Peter Kotowski, NTSB investigator in charge, delivers a briefing about the Oakland, Iowa, school bus fire at the Hilton Garden Inn in Council Bluffs in December 2017. 

COUNCIL BLUFFS — The Iowa State Patrol is refusing to release the findings of its investigation into a supervisor whose residency and receipt of $40,000 in relocation benefits were challenged.

Patrol spokesman Nathan Ludwig said Tuesday that the investigation into Lt. Joel Ehler is completed but that the findings are confidential. Ehler declined to comment when contacted at his office in Council Bluffs, where he remains the patrol’s district manager.

The patrol opened the investigation after an anonymous complaint in May alleged that Ehler didn’t fully relocate when he was transferred to Council Bluffs in 2017 as required by department policy. Ludwig pledged then that the patrol would investigate.

Records obtained by the Associated Press show Ehler received $40,000 in relocation benefits to sell his Adel home in 2018 and move after the transfer. But instead of moving toward Council Bluffs, Ehler began claiming a new home in West Des Moines as his home for tax purposes.

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Ehler has told the department that he was also renting a place near Council Bluffs, but the complaint alleged he wasn’t there on weekends as required.

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