Home News Friday Afternoon News, March 9th

Friday Afternoon News, March 9th


Supreme Court Approves Lawsuit Against Insurance Company

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court is allowing a woman to sue her boss and the small insurance agency company he led for sex discrimination and emotional distress.
The decision released Friday lets Joanne Cote take her case to a jury, but it’s more broadly significant because it means incorporated small businesses in Iowa cannot avoid compliance with the Iowa Civil Rights Act.
The case centers on the Derby Insurance Agency in Sioux City, its owner Kevin Dorn and Cote, the office manager. Cote alleged Dorn repeatedly showed his genitals at the office.
Cote sued in 2014 but Dorn tried to dismiss the lawsuit, citing a 1965 Iowa law exempting businesses with fewer than four employees, excluding family members, from Iowa Civil Rights Act compliance.
The court says incorporated businesses can’t use that law to escape civil rights actions.



Ankeny Woman To Sue The Iowa Department of Transportation After Driving Examiner Showed Sexual Photos

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) – A woman who was forced to view sexually explicit photos of her examiner during a driving test is suing the Iowa Department of Transportation for damages.
The 49-year-old was seeking a license when she was paired with John Alexander for the test at the Ankeny DOT station in 2016.
Records show Alexander instructed her to pull into a parking lot, handed her his phone and instructed her to delete several photos of his penis. He then forced her to view a video of him masturbating while making comments about her breasts and his sexual history. Alexander gave her a passing score but
threatened her to keep quiet. She nonetheless reported the half-hour incident to police.
Alexander, 62, was fired, pleaded guilty to felony misconduct, and was sentenced to probation.
The lawsuit accuses DOT of being negligent in hiring Alexander and allowing him to be secluded with customers.



Ottumwa Student Brings Weapons To School

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) – Police say a 16-year-old who took a loaded handgun into Ottumwa High School has been charged with a felony.
The Ottumwa Courier reports that the school resource officer and a school administrator found the gun and a knife blade in the student’s backpack Thursday morning. He was arrested and charged with carrying a weapon on school grounds. The Associated Press generally doesn’t name juveniles accused of
The school district says the boy showed the gun to another student, who then notified a teacher who alerted the resource officer. The officer and the administrator removed the boy from a classroom and then searched the backpack.
His parents were notified. It’s unclear why the boy was armed.



Southeast Iowa Man Sentenced For Fraud For Out-of-State Hunters

BLOOMFIELD, Iowa (AP) – A southeast Iowa man who scammed out-of-state hunters has been imprisoned.
Davis County District Court records say 34-year-old Andrew Wulf was sentenced March 2 in Bloomfield to 25 years in prison. He was convicted in January of two counts of theft and one of ongoing criminal conduct. The records say he intends to appeal.
Wulf owns Whitetail Ridge Outfitters in Tipton. Prosecutors say he swindled three out-of-state customers, led illegal hunts and ripped off customers.



Under Age Lottery Winner’s Mother Is Charged

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have charged a Council Bluffs woman who they say tried to help her daughter fraudulently claim a lottery scratch-off ticket prize of $50,000.
Court records say 61-year-old Michelle Lett is charged with lottery theft or forgery – the same charge her 19-year-old daughter, Katelyn Dolezal, faces. Lett’s attorney, Christopher Roth, says she intends to plead not guilty.
Iowa law requires players to be 21 or older. Authorities say Dolezal was 19 when she bought the winning ticket Nov. 18. Court records say her mom went to the Iowa Lottery office in Council Bluffs to claim the prize, and a check was issued in Lett’s name.
Police say Dolezal later called the lottery office for help, saying her mother wasn’t going to share the money with Dolezal.