- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - Three law enforcement agencies improperly withheld public records related to the death of a Burlington woman killed by a police officer, a prosecutor hired by the Iowa Public Information Board says.

Special prosecutor Mark McCormick charged the Burlington Police Department, Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers and the Division of Criminal Investigation with violating the open records law on Friday, the Hawk Eye (http://bit.ly/1t1jIhT ) reported.

Burlington Officer Jesse Hill accidentally shot 34-year-old Autumn Steele to death in January 2015 while responding to a fight between Steele and her husband. He tried to shoot the family’s growling dog but hit Steele in the chest instead.

Hill was not charged in the shooting and returned to duty.

Steele’s family and the newspaper requested copies of all public records related to the incident, including police audio, body camera footage, 911 recordings and investigative reports.

The agencies have claimed they satisfied Iowa law by releasing a 12-second body camera video of the incident and that any records that are marked as “investigative reports” can lawfully be kept confidential.

Messages left for all three offices were not immediately returned Wednesday morning.

McCormick, who is also a former Iowa Supreme Court justice, alleged Beavers withheld documents she claimed she didn’t have and the police agencies improperly claimed that records are confidential.

Beavers has said she thought her staff had sent the records to state investigators, so she didn’t have them to share with the family’s attorney at the time of the request.

An administrative law judge will review evidence and witness statements and can recommend the release of the records and fines of up to $2,500 for each agency. The information board can accept or reject the recommendation, and any action by the board can be appealed in district court by the parties involved.

A hearing has not yet been scheduled.

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Information from: The Hawk Eye, http://www.thehawkeye.com

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