Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

May 4, 2012

'Unusual' decision removes Appanoose County Attorney

CENTERVILLE (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court’s decision to immediately suspend the law license of a small county’s only prosecutor without a disciplinary hearing or further explanation is highly unusual, legal observers said Friday.

Chief Justice Mark Cady on Wednesday granted the Supreme Court attorney disciplinary board’s request for a disability suspension for Appanoose County Attorney Richard F. Scott. Cady said the board made a sufficient showing of “Scott’s current inability to discharge his professional responsibilities” to justify the suspension. He waived a requirement that the suspension not take effect for 20 days, citing “exigent circumstances” that he did not explain.

The disciplinary board is reviewing whether it can make public the application and supporting documents that it filed with Cady in seeking the suspension, administrator Charles Harrington said. He said a matter involving Scott came to the board’s attention earlier this week and required quick action to protect the public interest.

“It’s kind of an unusual situation,” he said. “This is a little different from some of the other suspensions we’ve had. Very generally, the rule is concerned with reasons why a lawyer may not be performing his or her professional responsibilities. At this time, that’s about all I can say.”

Scott can challenge the suspension at a hearing set for May 29 or ask the high court to review the matter sooner. At this point, Harrington said, he is only facing an allegation.

Disability suspensions are given to Iowa attorneys who cannot currently work “due to disability, incapacity, abandonment of practice, or disappearance” under state rules. The rules say they can be issued for alcoholics and drug addicts seeking treatment, people who are committed to the hospital for mental issues or others who cannot perform their duties. Their licenses can be reinstated when they show they are qualified to resume their practice.

The suspension briefly left a void in Appanoose County, which has a population of about 13,000 and is along the Missouri border, because Scott has no assistant county attorneys in his office. In Iowa, county attorneys act as the top prosecutor of criminal laws and as the county government’s legal representative.

James Blomgren, chief judge of the judicial district that includes the county, on Friday appointed neighboring Davis County Attorney Rick Lynch and his assistant as temporary acting county attorneys in Appanoose. They will play that role until Scott returns to practice or the county supervisors appoint someone else to the position.

In a court filing, the Iowa Attorney General’s office said it would help the county if a significant criminal case or important legal matter should arise.

Sheriff Gary Anderson said earlier Friday the absence of a prosecutor had not caused any problems for law enforcement. He said no criminal cases were scheduled for trial this week, and his office hasn’t had any other matters that would require a prosecutor’s immediate attention.

Anderson said he was surprised by the suspension, and his office has had a good working relationship with Scott.

A woman who answered the phone in Scott’s county office declined comment. A home number for Scott in Centerville could not be found.

News reports show Scott had been on the job very recently. Just last month, he said he had filed theft charges against a former employee of a state-owned resort after a state audit found the woman had transferred more than $2,700 for her personal use.

Scott was appointed to the job to fill a vacancy and then won election on his own to a four-year term in 2010, said Corwin Ritchie, executive director of the Iowa County Attorneys Association. He said he can only recall one another disability suspension issued to a county attorney, which was several years ago and involved a prosecutor who later found out he had a brain tumor.

Text Only
Local News
  • Honey Creek Resort recognized for recycling MORAVIA — Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake has been selected as having the best government recycling program by the Iowa Recycling Association.“Iowa’s Greenest Resort” received the award July 17 during the Iowa Recycling Association annu

    July 23, 2014

  • Appanoose County Farm Bureau annual meeting President Mark McGill welcomed 85 members and guests to the annual meeting of the Appanoose County Farm Bureau on Tuesday, July 15 at the Faith United Methodist Church, south of Centerville. Guest speaker Walt Hackney, who writes DTN’s “Talkin’ Lives

    July 23, 2014

  • School board reviews legislative priorities The Centerville School Board met for a regular meeting Monday, July 14, welcoming new member Steve Hoch, who replaced Tom Lange after his resignation.High School band director Jim DePrizio approached the board to see if the Band Boosters could receiv

    July 22, 2014

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.July 23,1920-1926: For some people, the changing role of women in this time, was leading to the breakdown of the family. The "Divorce Rate Is Appalling," said one headline. It was the KKK Southern Iowa America

    July 22, 2014

  • 072214 Medics Skills Photo Local medics advance skills Recently, six EMT’s from Mercy Medical Center advanced their credentials and skill levels to become paramedics.Dan Howington, Brenda Howington, Jeff Devoll, Katy Devoll, Andy Mericle and Jerilyn Inman invested their time over the last 18 months to ob

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved. July 22, 1945: Exline’s L. Jay Johnson, who opened a funeral home on East Maple Street on his return to Centerville from World War 2, survived the U.S. 8th AAF. He won a “Lucky Bastard” award from his fellow airmen on completion of 25 dangerous missi

    July 22, 2014

  • 072214 AC Fair Photo1 Antique tractor display The Lapland Plowboys Antique Tractor Club will be displaying a large selection of antique tractors Monday through Friday at the Appanoose County Fair.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fire protection score improves CENTERVILLE – The Centerville Fire Department recently received word that the community’s rating on Insurance Services Office’s Public Protection Classification survey had improved.The survey in question analyzes the fire suppression services in a co

    July 22, 2014

  • Humble Heroes Foundationhelps soldiers' children CENTERVILLE — Justin Zaputil remembers when Master Sgt. Travis Riddick died. The common reactions didn’t feel right.Mourning and then moving on left something undone. It didn’t seem to accomplish what Zaputil and a handful of others wanted. It didn’t

    July 22, 2014

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.July 20, 1942-5: As the country geared itself into second World War production, vital raw materials were critically short. Collections of metals, rubber, greases, nylons and silks, paper and rags, even milkwee

    July 21, 2014

  • Street paving project update tonight Nancy Huisman with Hall Engineering is on tonight’s Centerville City Council agenda to deliver an update on the East and West State streets and North 10th Street paving project.The council will set a time and date to again discuss the second reading

    July 21, 2014

  • 072114 Howard Service Photo 2 Hundreds attend Howard graveside services Several hundred men, women and children attended the 11 a.m. Saturday graveside services for Moulton native Staff Sgt. Robert E. “Bobby” Howard at Sunset View Cemetery north of Moulton.Pastor Brian Hargrave officiated. Hargrave talked about why we co

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Solicitation ordinance at a standstill Solicitation ordinance at a standstill

    The Centerville City Council during a special meeting Thursday at City Hall did not pass the second reading of an ordinance that will modify city code to prevent solicitation of funds on city streets.
    Instead, the council voted 3-2 to ...

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Graveside services for Staff Sgt. Robert E. Howard Graveside services for Staff Sgt. Robert E. Howard

    Graveside services were held Saturday morning at Sunset View Cemetery just north of Moulton for Staff Sgt. Robert E. Howard.

    July 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • American flags for Robert E. Howard American flags for Robert E. Howard

    At least 200 men, women and children came to the Centerville Fire Department firehouse at 2 p.m. Friday to participate in placing more than 2,000 American flags along the route from Centerville to Sunset View Cemetery just north of Moulton, the place where Moulton native Staff Sgt. Robert E. Howard will be laid to rest Saturday at 11 a.m.

    July 18, 2014 4 Photos

Featured Ads

The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook