The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

September 25, 2009

State audit slams former Keokuk Co. sheriff

SIGOURNEY — The state auditor released a report Friday accusing former Keokuk County Sheriff Ron George of failing to return property after leaving the department and mishandling evidence while in office.

David Vaudt’s report was the result of a request from Jeff Shipley, the new sheriff. Shipley defeated George in a hard-fought election last November.

The report says Shipley found George had failed to return his uniform, badge and a $8,400 thermal imaging camera. Evidence was allegedly not secured and deputies told the auditor George “was seen destroying records prior to leaving office.” (Click here to download a pdf copy of the report.)

Vaudt concluded it is not possible to determine whether all the department’s seized and forfeited property has been accounted for.

Two major concerns about evidence emerge in the report. The first is the conclusion that George did not maintain an evidence room for the department. Evidence rooms are secured areas with limited access. Departments use them to keep evidence secure and ensure there is no tampering with evidence.

“[N]on-cash property seized or recovered was placed in the squad room or in deputies’ offices. Sometimes the eveidence was placed in the garage attached to the Sheriff’s office or [one] of the sheds outside the main building,” the report states.

That problem has been partially remedied. The auditor found the department is now using a specific garage and allows only the sheriff and one other deputy access to that site.

The other primary question is whether the documents deputies allege were destroyed relate to evidence or cases the department investigated. The audit says no one was able to recover “copies of evidence sheets and/or case logs or case files,” that the department should have retained.

Without those records, investigators were unable to determine what property, if any, should go back to legal owners and what should be forfeited to the county. That property includes numerous firearms found in the department. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is working with the department to find a solution.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0422 Eagle photo On a wing and a prayer

    LAKE RED ROCK — Protective gloves aren’t uncommon when dealing with a sick patient, though they’re not usually heavy, leather welder’s gloves. But, then, the patient usually doesn’t have toenails designed to puncture flesh. Or a sharp beak. Diane Mas

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0420 OTT Gothic house easter web-color photo American Gothic House celebrates Easter weekend Kids participate in an egg roll competition Saturday on the American Gothic House lawn in Eldon. Families were invited to come and participate in Easter-themed events and make crafts. They also had the opportunity to dress up and pose in front of the

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0422 OTT Egg hunt color photo -L On a roll this Easter ELDON — If you pulled up to the American Gothic House Center Saturday afternoon at moments before 1 p.m., you probably had to park halfway down the road. Cars filled the parking lot and spilled out onto the street as parents and kids from all over so

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ups and downs OTTUMWA — Iowa's governor and his lieutenant seemed thrilled with part of the employment news Friday. Gov. Terry Branstad's Twitter page said: "BREAKING: Iowa's employment reaches all-time high of 1,615,200." Iowa Workforce Development confirms the n

    April 18, 2014

  • Those who came before OTTUMWA — There is so much information on researching genealogy, beginners may not know where to start. But experts and knowledgeable amateurs will offer help as they gather for a free Family History Fair to share which websites are worthwhile and wh

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Tree planting color photo -T -M -L Young Ottumwans show their green thumbs OTTUMWA — Several of Ottumwa’s cemeteries and parks were recipients of new trees this week as Ottumwa High School students and Eagle Scouts dedicated their time to planting dozens of trees around the city. Students from the OHS JROTC class were at Ot

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • 0419 OTT Prayer Walk 2 bw photo -L -M -T On a journey OTTUMWA — The seven blocks through the center of Ottumwa took more than an hour and a half to walk as 25 people prayed and read Scripture to reflect on the events of Good Friday. Led by the Ottumwa Area Fellowship of Pastors, the walk began at First

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0419 OTT drought map -L -T -M Drought weakens grip on Iowa OTTUMWA — Last weekend saw the first significant rains in quite some time for the Ottumwa area. How long? The last day with at least a half-inch of rain was back on Nov. 20. It was a welcome rain, arriving after the ground had thawed. That allowed at

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eugene Clark STOCKPORT — Eugene Morris Clark, 90, of Stockport, died at 5:30 p.m. April 17, 2014, at Good Samaritan Health and Rehabilitation Center, Ottumwa. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Spencer Cemetery northeast of Stockport; Pastor Richard

    April 18, 2014

  • Civil War Round Table visited by baseball historian OTTUMWA — The Civil War Round Table was treated to a special guest Thursday night and a presentation about how baseball during the Civil War era helped shape Iowa as we know it. John Liepa, former history and political science professor at Des Moines

    April 18, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition