September 28, 2021

Ramsey report

As was noted in a previous report, a disturbing number of sex offenders have been moving to Iowa to get themselves off the sex offender registry due to gaps in reciprocity between Iowa and other states. This year the Iowa Legislature has proposed a fix for the issue. The fix would ensure that a sex offender who is required to register in another jurisdiction under the other jurisdiction’s sex offender registry but who resides, is employed, or attends school in this state shall be required to register for a period of time equal to the period of time required under the other jurisdiction’s requirements or under Iowa law, whichever is longer. (House File 201). The Clarke County Attorney’s continued involvement as an active member of the Legislative Committee of the County Attorneys’ Association will help ensure that Clarke’s residents are informed and actively represented in the pursuit of legislative fixes to problems with our criminal law and procedure.

Democrat, John P. Sarcone, the Polk County Attorney continuously since 1991, has announced he will not seek reelection in 2022. As Polk County is very strongly Democrat, his elected successor is likely to be determined in a hotly contested Democratic primary-- a primary that will likely be punctuated by pledges to defund the police, decriminalize certain offenses, and discharge Iowa’s prison inmates (early).

In terms of July’s workload in the Clarke County Attorney’s Office, several misdemeanor bench trials were conducted. 5 felony cases came in and 5 were disposed. Felony cases are the most serious of criminal cases. The State’s case tracking system reflects 81 pending felony cases for Clarke County.

In July, 17 indictable misdemeanors came in and 14 were disposed. The State’s case tracking system reflects that the pending number is up from 173 to 177 cases.

In June, 263 simple misdemeanors came in and 244 were disposed. The State’s case tracking system reflects that the number of pending simple misdemeanors is up from 469 to 497.

In June, the Clarke County Attorney’s Office juvenile case load included 4 new Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) cases with 5 disposed. The State’s case tracking system reflects an increase from 88 to 91 pending juvenile cases.