DES MOINES — A judge says a legal action that claims the Branstad administration illegally shared a confidential report about the firing of a criminal investigator can proceed.

Judge Larry McLellan on Monday rejected the state's request to dismiss the petition filed by former Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Larry Hedlund.

The petition challenges the decision to share a 500-page report related to Hedlund's firing with former Iowa Chief Justice Louis Lavorato. It seeks a $2,500 fine against the Department of Public Safety's records custodian and other remedies.

Gov. Terry Branstad appointed Lavorato to review Hedlund's firing and claims of retaliation. Hedlund was placed on leave in May, days after initiating a pursuit with a trooper who was speeding while transporting Branstad. Lavorato concluded that Branstad's office wasn't involved in Hedlund's discipline.