The Iowa Public Information Board
COMES NOW, Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), and enters this Dismissal Order.
On July 8, 2020, Christine Warth filed formal complaint 20FC:0067, alleging that the Henry County Sheriff (Sheriff) violated Iowa Code chapters 21 and 22.
Ms. Warth alleged that the Sheriff violated Iowa Code chapters 21 (open meetings) and 22 (public records) on July 2, 2020, by refusing to release an incident report, illegally searching a cell phone, refusing access to phone calls for 18 hours, falsely arresting someone, forwarding a phone call to the department of corrections, and “failed to comply a call if service based upon person reporting crime.”
On July 14, 2020, Ms. Warth was asked to provide specific information that would support an alleged violation of open meetings and public records laws.
On July 20, 2020, the Sheriff reported that his office had not received any written requests from Ms. Warth for paperwork. He noted that Ms. Warth was arrested on July 2, 2020. Her records, public and non-public, are available through discovery in the criminal matter.
Ms. Warth responded on July 20, 2020, that she “got the wrong department to complain about their false arrest, rights violations and refusal to criminally charge someone who damaged my property,” and that she was pursuing those matters through the Ombudsman.
On July 28, 2020, Ms. Warth stated she had received copies of the public records from the Sheriff. She has not provided any other information in support of this complaint.
Iowa Code section 23.8 requires that a complaint be within the IPIB’s jurisdiction, appear legally sufficient, and could have merit before the IPIB accepts a complaint. This complaint does not meet those requirements.
IT IS SO ORDERED: Formal complaint 20FC:067 is dismissed as without merit pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.8(2) and Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(2)(b).
Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(3), the IPIB may “delegate acceptance or dismissal of a complaint to the executive director, subject to review by the board.” The IPIB will review this Order on August 20, 2020. Pursuant to IPIB rule 497-2.1(4), the parties will be notified in writing of its decision.
By the IPIB Executive Director
Margaret E. Johnson, J.D.
CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
This document was sent by electronic mail on the ___ day of August, 2020, to:
Henry County Sheriff