BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Ross Braden, an attorney from West Point, was appointed this morning, for the second time in less than a year, to lead the Lee County Attorney’s office.
Braden was sworn in by 8th Judicial District Judge John Wright at the regular meeting of the Lee County Board of Supervisors. Braden replaces former Lee County Attorney Clinton Boddicker, who was appointed to an associate judge’s seat in the district starting Friday.
Boddicker won the county attorney’s seat in a general election in May over Braden. Braden had received an appointment from supervisors over several candidates, including Boddicker, in February when then-County Attorney Mike Short retired.
After the swearing in, Braden then informed supervisors that he was appointing Jonathan Stensvaag, a public defender working out of Burlington, to be the assistant county attorney.
“I know Jonathan to be an incredibly sharp, knowledgeable attorney who knows how to battle in court,” Braden said after the meeting. “He’s handled anywhere from 15 to 17 jury trials, has handled many Class A felony cases, and has been practicing locally for about seven years. He’s a very competent, respected, and well-rounded attorney and will be a great addition to the office.”
Braden said Stensvaag would have to sever ties with with the public defender’s office and would probably give two weeks notice, but hinted that Stensvaag could start sooner because of the nature of the job offer.
Stensvaag also made the final cut for the judicial seat Boddicker was appointed to last month.
The County Attorney’s position is also up for election this year with a summer primary and general election in November. Braden said he will seek election this year to stay in the position.