Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
September 18, 2012
DALLAS -- Monday's Dallas City Council meeting drew a crowd, but it was in support of a former city employee.
Friends of former city manager Jerry Wyatt gathered Monday to express concerns and ask the council to consider leniency or even request that charges against him be dropped.
Wyatt is facing 17 charges, including theft and falsifying business records stemming from an investigation into his alleged use of city resources to buy items for personal use.
Todd Nelson, a friend of Wyatt's, asked if the council was aware of the serious penalties the charges against Wyatt carry. He also asked if the council was getting updates on the case as it proceeds.
Nelson said he hoped the council would consider the severity of charges Wyatt is facing and whether alternates can be found, given the possible lengthy sentence.
"I understand that you are not in control of what happens from here on out, but you do have influence over what happens," Nelson said.
Vera Cronin, also a friend of the Wyatt family, questioned whether there was a conflict of interest in having the city's police department investigate the case.
"Why wasn't it originally solved in-house where it should have been addressed, so that Jerry would have been able to remedy any questions?" she asked, adding that the incident sounds like a setup. "I'm asking the council to ask the (Polk County) District Attorney to dismiss all charges against Jerry Wyatt."
Lane Shetterly, Dallas' city attorney, said given the pending prosecution, the city should avoid discussing the case. He did say the council isn't privy to all the evidence presented to the grand jury under the secret indictment. Shetterly also noted the Dallas Police Department involved the DA's office early in the investigation.
"It was the grand jury that brought the charges based on the evidence and testimony presented to it, not the city council," he said.