Sups approve temporary 28E agreement with Washington County

Sigourney, Iowa- At the December 3 Keokuk County Supervisors meeting, the outgoing county attorney John Schroeder and incoming county attorney Amber Thompson recommended that the Supervisors dissolve an existing 28E agreement with Washington County for a shared assistant county attorney. The move came after Chauncey Moulding, who is the current share assistant county attorney, was elected Jefferson County Attorney. Since the December 3 meeting, it has become necessary for Schroeder to negotiate a new agreement with Washington County, something that Schroeder presented to the Supervisors at a regular meeting on December 10.

            Under the proposed 28E agreement, Schroeder said that Washington County and Keokuk County will share an assistant county attorney one day a week. The assistant county attorney would work during the main district and associate district court service day of Friday. Schroeder said that Washington County Attorney John Gish is willing to share one of his full-time assistant county attorneys for a few months, however it is his desire to be able to have his assistant county attorney back working in his office full-time by the summer months of 2019.

            “Amber Thompson is talking with other counties to see what might be available elsewhere to share an assistant otherwise,” Schroeder said.

            Under the agreement, Keokuk County will reimburse Washington County for one-fifth of the assistant county attorney’s wages. Previously, the county had paid for one-half of Moulding’s wages.

            Supervisor Deke Wood expressed concern that having an assistant county attorney here only one day a week would be setting up the individual to fail and would not provide justice.

            “How are they going to be able to go to the courtroom and present to a judge something that they’ve never seen if they’re only here on Friday?” Wood asked of Schroeder.

            “In my experience, when I became an assistant county attorney way back in the good old days in 1976, that’s exactly what happened to me,” Schroeder said in response to Wood’s question.

For more on this story and others, catch the December 12 edition of the News-Review.