- Exercise professional discretion when making decisions on criminal charges.
- Prosecute all violations of state criminal laws and county ordinances.
- Provide legal advice to the Board of Supervisors and county and township officers concerning county matters.
- Represent and defend the state, county and its officers in officially related cases.
- Present all juvenile delinquency and child in need of assistance cases and mental health commitment proceedings.
The Linn County attorney is a constitutionally elected official. On July 1, 2010, Assistant Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden was sworn in to serve as county attorney. This vacancy was created when Linn County Attorney Harold Denton retired June 30 after serving in office since 2002. Vander Sanden ran unopposed for the office in the November 2010 election and was sworn in to serve as county attorney in January 2011.
The county attorney is charged with the prosecution of criminal violations as defined by the Code of Iowa. The County Attorney's Office is comprised of 20 assistant Linn County attorneys and 15 support staff personnel and is divided into three divisions:
- There are 20 Assistant County Attorneys, 13 Support Staff, 2 Victim Witness Coordinators, 1 Investigator and 1 Office Manager in the Attorney's Office
- Give legal advice to or represent private groups or persons.
- File lawsuits for private persons or defend them against lawsuits, including actions for dissolution of marriage.
- Prepare wills, deeds or other legal documents for private individuals.
Linn County Attorney Accomplishments for FY2015
In 2015 the Linn County Attorney’s Office continued efforts to assert a more visible leadership role in the community, initiate improvements within the criminal justice system and support stronger professional working relationships with local law enforcement agencies.
It is a top priority of the Linn County Attorney’s Office to enhance public safety through the vigorous prosecution of violent crime and repeat offenders. In fiscal year 2015, the Linn County Attorney’s office prosecuted approximately 800 felony and over 3000 misdemeanor offenses.
In addition, those who operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs continue to pose a substantial danger to the public. Over 1000 OWI charges were prosecuted with approximately 30% of them being repeat offenders. One such habitual offender, Steven Viers, who was convicted for OWI’s #15 and #16, was sentenced to serve a 20 year prison term.
The attorneys in our office have also helped to improve our working relationships with local law enforcement agencies by organizing and presenting in-service legal training to the Cedar Rapids Police Department, Linn County Sheriff’s Department, Marion Police Department, Linn County Volunteer Firefighters Association and the St. Luke’s Child Protection Center.
Dedicated employees of the Linn County Attorney’s Office volunteered their time and energy to help organize and promote the 9th Annual Go the Distance for Crime Victims 5K Run/Walk which raised money for victims of crime. Nick Maybanks (1st Assistant), Matt Kishinami (Assistant), Anastasia Wilson and Chris Adcock (Victim/Witness Coordinators), Diane Albers (office manager), Rick Greene (IT Specialist), Melissa Perry (support staff), Sarah Bliss (intern) and Andy Craig (volunteer) were presented with the Linn County Teamwork Recognition Award for their efforts.
Two prosecutors in the Linn County Attorney’s Office were specially recognized for their exceptional service to the public in 2015. Kelly Kaufman was presented with the 2015 Kathleen Opdebeeck Award by the St. Luke’s Child Protection Center for her exemplary efforts to serve and protect Iowa’s children. In addition, the Iowa County Attorney’s Association presented the 2015 Staff Attorney Award of Merit to 1st Assistant Nick Maybanks in recognition and appreciation for his dedicated efforts and outstanding service as an Assistant Linn County Attorney.
Looking to the future, the Linn County Attorney’s office is dedicated to vigilantly serving and protecting the people of Linn County through vigorous but fair enforcement of the law and holding offenders accountable for their crimes.