Former Lee County Attorney’s legal battles on hold

Anderson was facing a civil suit and criminal charges in connection with alleged Trust theft


KEOKUK – Civil charges against a former Lee County Attorney and magistrate judge regarding his handling of a charitable trust have been dismissed, as an additional criminal charge has been suspended pending a psychological evaluation.

In January Keokuk attorney Ty Logan filed a motion to dismiss charges that were pending against Barry M. Anderson who served as Lee County Attorney beginning in 1974, after a stint as deputy county attorney. However the charges were dismissed without prejudice, which leaves open the chance to refile charges at a later date if appropriate. The actual charges in the civil case are no longer listed in the court records.


Anderson is also facing a 1st-degree theft charge with the Lee County Attorney’s office. That case has been suspended until a July 12 hearing to evaluate a psychological competency review, according to Iowa court records.

The former Keokuk attorney and Western Illinois law professor filed a written plea of not guilty in the theft case in April 2020, through is attorney Curt Dial of Keokuk. Dial also represented Anderson in the civil case.

Anderson served as trustee for the Amelia B. Hess Trust out of Pennsylvania.

Anderson had filed an official motion with the court to close the trust in September of 2017 after an initial request was entered in May of that year. Efforts to liquidate assets in the trust began in February 2017.

Attempts to reach Logan for comment on the case were unsuccessful.

According to Iowa Courts Online, Anderson had been ordered, in two separate summary judgments by two district judges, to repay close to $172,000 plus interest. Those judgments, issued in September of 2020 and November of 2019, had not been satisfied when the case was dismissed, according to court records.

A review of a telehealth evaluation was scheduled with District Judge Wyatt Peterson on Monday.

The 1st-degree theft charge is a Class C Felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Hess died in 1930 and was the mother of J. LaRue Hess, treasurer of the Commercial Trust Corp. of Harrisburg, Penn.

The trust was a charitable arm that provided funding to several children’s homeless groups including: Emmaus House of Mothersville, Mo.; Uhlich Children’s Home of Chicago; Fort Wayne Children’s Home; Charles Hall Youth Services of Bismarck, N.D.; and Good Samaratin Home of Quincy.

The Trust was created in February of 1984 and Anderson was the appointed the trustee in March of that year with a $300,000 bond.

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