According to documents released to the Daily Iowegian, Appanoose County Attorney Richard F. Scott was taken to the local hospital on Monday, Jan. 27 and perhaps to Des Moines for "further testing or treatment."
The exact nature of the hospitalization remains uncertain.
News of Scott's absence from the county attorney's office was disseminated through a series of emails sent by Judge Daniel P. Wilson to a long list of county, state officials and attorneys on Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 27-28.
The emails indicate Monroe County Attorney Steve Goodlow verbally agreed to cover several court cases scheduled for Friday, Jan. 31 and a criminal jury trial that was set for Jan. 28 but rescheduled for today. One email indicates Goodlow asked to not be "appointed for any extended period or for anything additionally."
The Appanoose County Clerk of Court Monday confirmed more than 100 cases were scheduled for Friday, Jan. 31. She said some were moved and some were covered by Goodlow.
Appanoose County Supervisor Dean Kaster Monday said Scott's secretary indicated Scott could be back to work as soon as today or Wednesday.
"Richard Scott is the key guy here," Kaster said. "He's got to be able to tell us when he's going to be back to work."
Kaster said if Scott doesn't return to work this week, the Board of Supervisors will have to appoint someone to fill his absence.
Beside the medical issues, an investigation by the Daily Iowegian into Scott's driving record indicates he was cited twice in 2013 for operation without registration. More on that story in Thursday's Daily Iowegian.
According to Iowa Code, "In case of absence, sickness, or disability of the county attorney and the assistant county attorneys, the board of supervisors may appoint an attorney to act as county attorney. Upon application of the county attorney or the attorney general, the chief judge or the chief judge's designee may appoint an attorney to act temporarily as county attorney until the board has had sufficient time to appoint an acting county attorney. As an alternative, upon the application of the county attorney or the attorney general, the chief judge or the chief judge's designee may appoint the attorney general to temporarily act as county attorney if the attorney general consents to the appointment. A temporary or acting county attorney has the same authority and is subject to the same responsibilities as a county attorney. A temporary or acting county attorney shall receive a reasonable compensation as determined by the board for services rendered in proceedings before a judicial magistrate or rendered on behalf of a county officer or employee. The compensation shall be paid from funds to be appropriated to the office of county attorney by the board."
The two emails in question are available to read below.