BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
LEE COUNTY – Lee County Supervisors could approve a move that would bring Fort Madison attorney Kim Auge and current Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers under the direction of Lee County Attorney Ross Braden.
On the agenda for the regular Tuesday meeting of the supervisors is a request from Braden to add Auge to the county attorney’s staff to replace part-time veteran prosecutor Bruce McDonald, who will be retiring from the Lee County Attorney’s office at the end of the month. He will continue to work as a private practicing attorney out of Keokuk.
Auge would take over as a full-time assistant on Jan. 1.
Braden is also hoping to add Beavers as a full-time assistant to replace Artemio Santiago, who also has a private practice in Fort Madison. Braden said that Santiago has declined to accept the full-time position with the county. That position would be filled effective March 1, 2019 if approved Tuesday.
Braden was able to build two full-time positions out of two-part time positions due to the salaries being paid currently. McDonald was making just over $80,000 per year and Santiago was making $65,000. Braden told supervisors he could get both those positions to full-time for the same money.
Support local journalism. Make your Pen City Current subscription donation here.
Jonathan Stensvaag is already on staff as a full-time assistant Lee County attorney.
Braden said last week, it’s his hope and intention, if supervisors approve the move, to have one of the full-time assistants work solely on juvenile cases in the county.
Braden is also adding a victim’s advocacy coordinator under a grant program that is funded for three years with grant money.
“I’ve known Kim for a long time dating back to when I was in private practice. I know her to be a hard worker and very knowlegeable. She’s been with the public defenders office for two or three years. She does a great job in criminal cases and she’s multi-dimensional in that she knows juvenile and criminal law so we can utilize her in many different facets of the office,” Braden said Sunday.
He said Beavers has been a prosecuting attorney for close to 20 years and did a very tough job in Des Moines County. Beavers indicated in the spring that she wouldn’t be seeking re-election to the post.
“I think Amy is just a fantastic attorney and prosecutor and had a tough job in Des Moines County. Amy’s been prosecuting for 20 years.”
If the board approves the resolutions on Tuesday, Braden said he didn’t know exactly how the office would be structured but said it makes the office very strong.
“It’s still pending board approval and we haven’t made any decisions along those lines yet, but I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with these two attorneys and think it makes our office here in Lee County very strong.”
In other action, the board will also be discussing the possible sale of the county shed property in Argyle. The property has been at the center of concerns of Argyle residents who claim the county has done a poor job of maintaining the property. However several residents have expressed interest in purchasing the property, as well.
Supervisors will also continue discussions on Mooar/Powdertown sanitary sewer systems. Supervisors are trying to get the remaining residents with antiquated sewer systems up to code in accordance with Iowa Department of Natural Resources mandates.
Also on the agenda is discussion on a recommendation from the Lee County Compensation Board for a 3.5 percent increase for the county auditor, recorder, sheriff, and treasurer. The recommendation also does not provide for an increase in the county attorney’s office or for supervisors, but will include a $2,500 stipend for the auditor’s office.
The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the sheriff’s office in Montrose.