CENTERVILLE — Iowa Code states if there is a vacancy in an elected county office then there are two ways to fill the vacancy, one being that county’s board of supervisors can make an appointment, the other by special election.
That’s what the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors are now faced with after it was announced Friday that Richard F. Scott, Appanoose County attorney, had passed away.
If the board of supervisors decide to fill the vacancy by appointment they have 40 days from the vacancy to act. If the board makes an appointment the person named must be a resident of Appanoose County.
Voters in the county after 14 days of such appointment have the option to file a petition to hold a special election to fill the unexpired term.
If no eligible candidate comes forward for appointment the board may employ a person to perform the duties for at least 60 days but no more than 90 days.
Chairman of the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors, Dean Kaster, Monday talked about the replacement process for Scott and the possibility they might expand the county attorney’s office to one full-time and a part-time assistant. Kaster said the board first wants to talk to court employees, judges and law enforcement, those who deal in the court system, before they make a decision.
“We need to include other people that’s more directly associated with the court system,” Kaster said. “It would include anybody that’s involved with the court system. They need to feed us some information on what actually would be the proper avenue.”
Kaster said a decision could be made by the end of the week.
“I think what we want to do is to try to look at the big picture and see if there needs to be any changes made in that department or just go the way we were,” Kaster said. “We’ve got to figure that out. We may decided we need a full-time county attorney and an assistant. I don’t know what the work load is up there for sure, but evidently it’s pretty heavy.”
Wayne County attorney, Alan M. Wilson, was appointed by Judge Daniel P. Wilson to be the acting Appanoose County attorney back in February while Scott was ill. The appointment lasts until the judge cancels or withdraws the order, Alan M. Wilson said.