- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines County attorney continues to receive his full pay, 60 days after he began medical leave.

The Burlington Hawk Eye reported (https://bit.ly/1quuUwh ) Wednesday that county supervisors said that haven’t heard from County Attorney Pat Jackson since he began the leave in April, leading to confusion about his position.

Jackson went on leave four days after a story in The Hawk Eye found that his office prosecuted fewer cases than county attorneys in two adjacent counties despite more employees and a bigger budget.

During his absence, Jackson is being paid about $8,100 a month.

Jackson couldn’t be reached for comment.

Supervisor Tom Broeker said the county board isn’t taking action involving Jackson and isn’t investigating his office’s expenditures because they had already been examined and approved by the county auditor. Broeker said there is little the board can do about Jackson’s absence or questions about how his office operates.

“State law does not give elected officials the authority over other elected officials,” he said.

Broeker said Jackson was elected county attorney and he will be paid until his term is completed on Jan. 1, 2015, he resigns or is found guilty of illegal activity. No illegal actions have been alleged.

Acting county attorney Amy Beavers said in April that the question of whether the county attorney’s office could be declared vacant couldn’t be raised until after Jackson was gone 60 days.

On Tuesday, Beavers said she hadn’t seen a notice from Jackson’s doctor that was given to the county auditor. “So I cannot even say he is on medical leave,” Beavers said.

Toby Gordon, the county’s labor attorney, said Jackson’s medical leave notice wasn’t required to allow his departure and was given as a courtesy.


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

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