- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - The Dubuque City Council has decided to eliminate jail time as a penalty for misdemeanor crimes prosecuted by the city.

The council voted 7-0 Monday for a proposal to change the city ordinance. The city currently follows state law, which allows the option of jail time for vandalism, theft, disorderly conduct, public intoxication and other simple misdemeanors.

The proposal applies only to minor criminal violations of the city code. Dubuque Assistant City Attorney Maureen Quann says city police officers have the discretion to seek charges under city or state law.

A city law has allowed prosecutors to ask a judge to consider jail time for someone convicted of a simple misdemeanor. However, a recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling concerning court-appointed attorneys prompted city officials to consider the financial cost.

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