July 21, 2024

Dorland given probation in election misconduct case

Kevin Dorland of Osceola was given probation on three counts of election misconduct in the first degree at a sentencing hearing on May 7. Dorland was originally charged with seven counts of election misconduct in the first degree, a class D felony, which can carry a maximum penalty of five years incarceration and a $10,245 civil penalty.

The length of Dorland’s probation will be two years. Dorland was also ordered to pay $1,025 in civil penalties within 30 days of his hearing. If Dorland does not violate his parole, his record will be expunged after two years. Counts IV, V, VI and VII were dismissed at Dorland’s cost and payable in the case. Dorland also has to pay restitution for the case, as he is reasonably able to do so and as filed by the court within 30 days of sentencing.

Background

Dorland was charged on May 11, 2022 with seven counts of election misconduct in the first degree, which violates Iowa Code 39A.2(1)(b). A Grand Jury Indictment filed on May 11, 2022 in the case of State of Iowa v. Kevin Leroy Dorland, listed counts I, III and VII of the indictment were said to have been committed on Nov. 2, 2021, June 2, 2020 and Nov. 7, 2017 respectively. Counts II, IV, V and VI were said to have been committed on or about Nov. 3, 2020, Aug. 6, 2019, Nov. 6, 2018 and April 3, 2018.

On Feb. 5, 2024, Dorland submitted a written plea of guilty by way of an Alford plea for three of the seven counts. An Alford plea is “...also known as a ‘best-interests plea,’ registers a formal admission of guilt towards charges in criminal court while the defendant simultaneously expresses their innocence toward those same charges. Like the similar nolo contendere plea, an Alford plea skips the full process of a criminal trial because the defendant agrees to accept all the ramifications of a guilty verdict (i.e. punishment).” - Cornell Law School

In the waiver of rights and written guilty plea, Dorland pleaded guilty to Counts I, II and III of the indictment, in violation of Iowa Code Section 39A.2(1)(b)(3). In the factual basis part of the plea paperwork, Count I stated, “I agree that minutes of testimony show a factual basis that on November 2, 2021, I voted in the [Clarke] County city/school elections in person, while I was not qualified due to residency requirements.”

Count II: “I agree that minutes of testimony would provide a sufficient factual basis that on the 3rd of November 2020 in the general election, I voted by absentee ballot while I was not qualified due to residency requirements.

Count III: “I agree that the minutes of testimony would provide a sufficient factual basis that I voted in the June 2, 2020 primary election in [Clarke] County, in person while I was not qualified due to residency requirements.”

In exchange for the plea, Dorland filed that, “the state will recommend suspended sentences and I can request deferred judgment. The state will also dismiss counts 4-7 of the indictment.”

Responses

Osceola Mayor Thomas Kedley said he was glad to see the judicial system do its job.

“Through all of this, we tried to stay focused on taking the high road and focusing on the people of Osceola [whose] voting rights were infringed upon. I’m just sincerely happy that we let the judicial system go through the process and that it’s come to fruition of a guilty verdict on three of the counts and that the people of Osceola’s voting rights were upheld,” said Kedley. “Voting is the cornerstone of our republic democracy and must be defended to preserve our republic at every level.”

“I think that election security and allegations of election fraud are unfortunately part of the national dialogue and in many cases, unfortunately, I think that cable news, provocateurs and social media blow things up and have maybe calloused the viewing public to what [is] a very serious issue and in this particular case, that’s what it was,” said Osceola City Administrator Ty Wheeler. “Here is an example of a bona-fide incident of election fraud that literally affected the outcome of an election. Canceled the votes of everybody that participated and left it up to the luck of the draw. And that’s serious.”