Iowa Open Records Request – City of Newton, IA – #030 – Elimination of the Fog of War – #05

MEMORANDUM

To: City of Newton, IA
101 W. 4th Street S.
Newton, IA 50208
(641) 792-2787

Subj: IOWA OPEN RECORDS REQUEST – CITY OF NEWTON, IA – #030 – ELIMINATION OF THE FOG OF WAR – #05

Ref: 1. Iowa Code Title I State Sovereignty and Management, Chapter 22 Examination of Public Records (Open Records)

Enc: 1. Memorandum – Michael J. Merritt – Freedom of Information Request to the City of Newton, Iowa – #003 – 04 JAN 2022
2. Memorandum – City of Newton, IA Attorney Matthew Brick – 10 MAR 2022
3. Electronic Mail – City of Newton, IA Chief of Police Robert Burdess – 01 APR 2022
4. Reference Database – https://airtable.com/shrCeR0e7UWysOJqC

1. Introduction

Enclosure (1.) is the originator’s original request for, “All Newton, IA Police Department Iowa Incident Reports mentioning the names Michael Merritt, Michael J Merritt, Michael J. Merritt, or Michael James Merritt during 01 JUL 2018 at 0001 Local Time through 03 JAN 2022 at 2359 Local Time.”

Enclosure (2.) is the City of Newton, IA’s Attorney Matthew Brick of Brick Gentry PC’s response communicating, “There are certain records in response, specifically incident reports and call for service records mentioning the names in your request; however, peace officer investigative reports are exempt from public disclosure. See Iowa Code Section 22.7”

Enclosure (3.) is the City of Newton, IA Chief of Police Burdess’ response to Enclosure (1.) which provides evidence of a violation of Iowa Code Section 22.2(2.), “Mr. Merritt, Your request is being handled by our contracted City Attorney at Brick Gentry Law Firm. Please contact them with your questions regarding these requests.”

Paragraph (2.) provides a list of records, including corresponding evidence of the City of Newton, IA, releasing Iowa Incident Reports to the Newton Daily News, specifically information Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) communicates cannot be withheld in accordance with this subsection.

At the same time, the City of Newton, IA, has produced evidence of violating Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) in its response to Enclosure (1.) shown in Enclosure (3.). At the same time, City Attorney Matthew Brick of Brick Gentry PC’s 10 MAR 2022 response provides evidence of a misrepresentation of his client’s responsibilities as articulated in Iowa Code Section 22.7(5.) to a citizen requesting records in accordance with Iowa Code Section 22.

2. Requested Information

(a.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Duane Cordero A. Lopez on 29 SEP 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 42. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(b.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Ricky L. Wells on 10 SEP 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 39. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(c.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving James Michael Fallon on 10 SEP 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 39. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(d.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Michael Jace Hesse_Walker on 09 SEP 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 39. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(e.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Jonathon James Willemsen on 19 SEP 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 39. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(f.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Eric M. Pender on 18 APR 2022 and 21 AUG 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 35. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(g.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Kevin W. Hood on 18 AUG 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 35. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(h.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving LaJeanna M. Hunt on 19 AUG 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 35. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(i.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Christopher E. Morwitzer on 30 AUG 2022. Christopher Braunschweig of the Newton Daily News reported, “Two men were charged with second-degree theft by Newton police on Aug. 30 for allegedly stealing a motorcycle. Police reports identified the men as Christopher E. Morwitzer, 34, of Ames, and Saul B. Jones, 33, of Lehigh. They were arrested and taken into custody at Jasper County Jail.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 32. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(j.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Saul B. Jones on 30 AUG 2022. Christopher Braunschweig of the Newton Daily News reported, “Two men were charged with second-degree theft by Newton police on Aug. 30 for allegedly stealing a motorcycle. Police reports identified the men as Christopher E. Morwitzer, 34, of Ames, and Saul B. Jones, 33, of Lehigh. They were arrested and taken into custody at Jasper County Jail.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 32. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(k.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Christopher J. Pollard on 09 OCT 2022 and 06 AUG 2022. Christopher Braunschweig of the Newton Daily News reported, “Surveillance video spotted a 32-year old man stealing multiple items from a local business on Oct. 9, 2021, and that suspect has since been found, charged and arrested for third-degree burglary by the Newton Police Department, and then proceeded to get into even more trouble when he got to jail. Christopher J. Pollard, who is identified as homeless in police reports, is seen in the video crawling through an office window of the Cornfed CrossFit building, 200 E. 12th St. S. Unit B, while the business was closed.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 27. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(l.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving 114 First Ave. E, Newton, IA, property damage sometime between 26 JUL 2022 and 27 JUL 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 21. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(m.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Joseph K. Mahl on 09 JUL 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 17. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(n.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Demetri R. Ortiz on 22 APR 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 2. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(o.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Amanda S. McConnell on 19 APR 2022. The Newton Daily News reported, “Amanda S. McConnell, 32, of Newton, was charged for domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury for an incident that occurred 10:12 p.m. on April 19. Police reports say officers were dispatched to residence to a possible domestic disturbance.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 1. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(p.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving James A. Garland on 03 APR 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 1. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(q.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Brandon Jimenez on 22 APR 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 120 No. 1. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(r.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Lorraine E. Potter on 14 APR 2022. The Newton Daily News reported, “Potter demanded to be let in the emergency room, according to police reports.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 104. Retrieved January 8, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(s.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Jonah L. Kirsch on 15 APR 2022. The Newton Daily News reported, Reports say Kirsch smelled strongly of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 104. Retrieved January 8, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(t.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Brandon A. Blake on 16 APR 2022. The Newton Daily News reported, Police reports say the victim had redness around her neck consistent with strangulation.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 104. Retrieved January 8, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(u.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Kimberly K. Brees on 10 DEC 2021. The Newton Daily News reported, “Kimberly K. Brees, 41, of Monroe, was charged with fourth-degree theft for an incident that occurred late last year at the Walmart in Newton. Police reports say employees called the police department at 9:51 a.m.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 104. Retrieved January 8, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(v.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Patrick M. Heeley on 19 APR 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 104. Retrieved January 8, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(w.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Grayson K. Privett on 08 APR 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 97. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(x.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Connor A. Meislahn on 08 APR 2022. The Newton Daily News reported, “Meislahn submitted to field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test, which resulted in a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08, reports stated.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 97. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(y.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Stephanie J. Reed on 09 APR 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 97. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(z.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Mary E. Gantt on 10 APR 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 97. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(aa.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Robert C. Slocum on 10 APR 2022. The Newton Daily News reported, “According to police reports, Slocum and the victim got into an argument in a living room.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 96. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(ab.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Miranda M. Nichols on 08 APR 2022. The Newton Daily News reported, “Miranda M. Nichols, 23, of Newton, was charged with fifth degree theft on April 8 for allegedly concealing several items of children’s clothing at Walmart and trying to leave the store without paying, according to police reports.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 96. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(ac.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Maurice Green Jr. on 04 APR 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 93. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(ad.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Brittany L. Trotter on 27 MAR 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 93. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(ae.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Angela L. VanRees 31 MAR 2022. The Newton Daily News reported, Police reports say VanRees proceeded to self-checkout where she did not scan 32 various items from her cart throughout the checkout process.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 93. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(af.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Logan J. Devore 02 APR 2022. The Newton Daily News reported, Police reports say Devore attempted to steal $44.77 of merchandise from the store.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 93. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(ag.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving William L. Cochenour 03 APR 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 93. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(ah.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Donald P. Fortune 03 APR 2022. The Newton Daily News reported, “The driver, Fortune, also had water and bloodshot eyes, according to police reports.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 93. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(ai.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Dustin R. Bestel on 20 MAR 2022. Christopher Braunschweig of the Newton Daily News reported, “At about 11:41 p.m., Bestell was observed traveling westbound through the intersection of Iowa Speedway Drive and First Avenue East, police reports say.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 89. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(aj.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Carl F. Bragg on 28 OCT 2021 and 25 NOV 2021. The Newton Daily News reported, “According to police reports, officers were dispatched at 7:59 p.m Oct. 28 to the Walmart in Newton for a theft complaint.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 119 No. 68. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(ak.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Larissa M. Beaty on 21 DEC 2021. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 121 No. 67. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

(al.) Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Carl William E. Lane on 04 JAN 2022. Data Collection Source: Shaw Media. (n.d.). Newton Daily News Archive. Newton Daily News Volume No. 121 No. 67. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from https://www.newtondailynews.com/online-newspaper/

3. Conclusion

Iowa Incident Report(s) documenting an incident involving Andrew L. Hefley on 18 APR 2022 was requested in IOWA OPEN RECORDS REQUEST – CITY OF NEWTON, IA – #025 – ELIMINATION OF THE FOG OF WAR #01. A request for records consolidating evidence of the City of Newton, IA’s release of Iowa Incident Reports to the Newton Daily News from 2018 – 2022 regarding evidence leading to an arrest indicating a violation of Iowa Code Section 708.7 occurred. The Newton Daily News reported in Volume No. 119 No. 104, Reports say Hefley made several racist comments to the children.” Providing evidence that the Newton Daily News’ requests for records Iowa Code Section 22.7(5) articulates cannot be withheld are provided by the City of Newton, IA, in accordance with the law.

Records requested in paragraph (2.) include references and testimony provided by the Newton Daily News indicating the City of Newton, IA, and the Newton, IA Police Department previously released these reports to the Newton Daily News in accordance with Iowa Code Section 22.7(5). At the same time, the City of Newton, IA, and City Attorney Matthew Brick of Brick Gentry P.C. communicated in Enclosure (2.) the same form of records related to the requester and evidence of the Newton, IA Police Department’s handling of a civil domestic abuse no contact order violation, harassment, and identity theft (known) that did not produce arrests are confidential in accordance with Iowa Code Section 22.7.