August 03, 2021

Letter to editor


My name is Adam Stone. I’m an attorney, and I practice law all over Iowa, and regularly in Clarke County. My dad, Hugh Stone, was a pastor here, at the Methodist Church. Like my dad, and his better half, Betty, Osceola and Clarke County hold a special place in my heart.

The main reason for that is the uncommon kindness of this place’s inhabitants. People here are nice. Whether it’s at church, Court, the grocery store, the gas store, one of the many great restaurants, the bar, or the casino, people in this town are welcoming. Folks in Clarke County are just nicer than in any other county I’ve ever been in, and I think, in any other congregation my dad has ever served. Don’t tell the others that though; we both need to keep our gigs. Also, don’t tell my dad I’ve been to the bar or casino, I really don’t need that drama.

We also love Clarke County because people here are smart and talented. The number of great people who have come from and are currently packed into this little place is astounding. For every famous or recognized one, there are many many more who are remarkable, and who use their time and talents to help people and make this world a better place.

But enough about that. I’m writing you today to encourage you to vote for Michelle Rivera for County Attorney. I am doing that because I know from working with and against Michelle on a weekly basis for several years, that she, like the best in Clarke County, is uncommonly nice, smart, and talented. She’s tough, but just. She’s skilled, but humble. She is incredibly smart and good at her job. She is a real prosecutor, a real attorney, and not a politician or a political hack. In my opinion, she’s the best of her kind that I’ve come across.

She speaks softly, and carries a big stick. I know because I’ve been hit with that stick, in trial. The first trial I ever had was against her in Osceola. I was terrified at the time. I was afraid of making a mistake, of looking like a fool, and of losing. Michelle knew I was scared. She could see it in the way I was pacing around the courthouse, and she had been there too once upon a time. And rather than try to intimidate me, or exploit me, or disrupt my case, she treated me with pure class. She came up to me several times before the trial and said: “stop worrying, you’re going to do great.” Her secretary Jeannie said the same thing and brushed some dirt of my jacket, so I didn’t look like a fool. And during the trial, when I was still all nerves, Michelle came up to me and said: “you’re doing really great.” And at the end of the trial before the jury returned its verdict, she came up to me again and said: “wow, you did such a good job. I think you might have pulled that off.”

And then, after about 10 minutes of deliberating, the jury returned its verdict, revealing that Michelle had beaten the socks off me. I lost. I was not surprised by the jury’s verdict. Michelle had checked every argument I made that day and made some very compelling arguments of her own. She won her case easily, but the way she won it was what was truly impressive. She won with class. At all stages of the litigation, she acted with professionalism, demonstrating the kind of competence and character that this town and county should be famous for. After the trial, she treated my client with compassion and fairness.

Michelle does this every day. That is how she treats people, even her opponents. That is how she acts in Court. Those are the results she gets. She wins. But she doesn’t just win, she wins the right way. And when she wins, she doesn’t automatically try to crush her defeated, she tries to do what is just, what is fair. She is a class act and an exceptional attorney. Like this place, she is kind, she is smart, and she is talented. She represents you well. That is why you should vote for her.