Mr. Leo Karn is our Director of Operations. He is an attorney who has been with our agency for five years. Prior to 1974, he held the position of Hearing Officer with the Iowa Department of Social Services. Before being in the Department of Social Services, he was in the private practice of law for ten years. Prior to his private practice Mr. Karn was Vice-president of Carriers Insurance Company (Des Moines).

Mr. Karn's position demands versatility in that he has a variety of functions. The Affirmative Action Director, the Education Director, the Hearing Officers and the Developmental Disabilities Director all report to him. After all incoming complaints are reported, the secretary routes them to Mr. Karn for his review. He then determines whether the complaint meets all the filing requirements in terms of format. Is the complaint correctly notarized? Did the intake person fully identify the Respondent and charging party? Beyond that, he inspects the statement of the complaint itself in terms of content. Does the wording clearly explain the problem? Does it offer a comparison either as to how others were treated or how a policy unevenly affects one group over another? Mr. Karn is an important part of the management team here at the Commission. As such, he participates in planning and decision making for the whole agency and contributes his knowledge on legal questions. He also procures equipment and furniture, one of those duties behind the scenes that helps to keep us all afloat. Along with other members of the management team he reviews cases to decide whether to propose them to the Commission for public hearing. A vital part of his role is to assist the Executive Director in negotiating contracts with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on which we rely for a sizable proportion of our funds.

FY-79 was a crucial year for relations with EEOC. Mr. Karn was instrumental in obtaining the Agency Improvement Contract with EEOC. That contract gave us $159,000 and enabled us to obtain two additional hearing officers, three civil rights assistants and three people to negotiate early settlements. We needed the civil rights assistants to collect and organize data on our cases so that we could input that data to our electronic memory. This, then, allows us to account more promptly both to internal and external parties. The system also allows us better control of information in general. The three negotiators operate according to procedures originally determined by Mr. Karn for expedited case processing.

Aside from relations with EEOC, Mr. Karn has played a lead role internally in several other agency projects in FY-79. For example, the end of the year found us planning an agency move to a different building. Mr. Karn worked out arrangements with the Department of General Services for that important change. FY-79 was also an especially active year for the hearing officers. Mr. Karn coordinated their activities including the task of having transcripts of the hearings printed and made available to the public. This was also a very active year for the Commission's administrative rulemaking. And Mr. Karn assisted in drafting proposals for those rules. Under the Merit System his position is classified as a Public Service Executive 11. Director of Operations and the Compliance Director are the only two PSE II positions in the agency.

1979 Annual Report Main Page