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Blouin: former film office manager not qualified

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A former Iowa Department of Economic Development director says Tom Wheeler was not qualified to run the state's now defunct film incentive program.

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Former economic development director Mike Blouin testified Thursday during Wheeler's trial on felony misconduct, fraud and conspiracy charges that he hired Wheeler primarily as a marketing man.

The Des Moines Register reported that Blouin testified it would have taken a "very special individual" who was skilled in a lot of ways to run the film office program.

Blouin left his job before Wheeler was named to head the film incentive program. Blouin's replacement, Mike Tramontina, testified that he never reviewed Wheeler's qualifications.

A state audit showed $26 million in tax credits were awarded improperly and four filmmakers have pleaded guilty in the case.

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