Iowa Town of Less Than a Thousand is the Epitome of Corruption
If you somehow made your way through Armstrong, Iowa, it likely wouldn't even register in your mind. The tiny, sleepy town located in the north-central part of the state has a population of 875 people, and the closest city with a population of more than 10,000 is Fort Dodge -- an hour and a half long drive away.
No one would have pegged Armstrong to be a place that harbors a mayor who has abused his (albeit limited) power, a city clerk who embezzled funds, and a police department riddled with corruption. And yet, here it is -- and it's gaining national attention.
As shared on our site just a few days ago, "A former police officer in the city of Armstrong is being charged with 84 felony and misdemeanor counts, with some dating back to 2016, according to USA News."
Per KILR, there are "multiple counts of ongoing criminal conduct, perjury, stalking, stalking involving a dangerous weapon, non-felonious misconduct in office, assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, unauthorized dissemination of criminal history data, unauthorized dissemination of intelligence history data, obstructing prosecution or defense, theft in the second degree and tax evasion."
And that's just the beginning.
In regards to the other crimes, according to Iowa Startling Line, "Mayor Greg Buum, Clerk Tracie Lang, and former Clerk Connie Thackery were all arrested Feb. 12, 2021, by the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation after a years-long investigation. Police Chief Craig Merrill was arrested Feb. 13, 2021, by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota and extradited back to Iowa."
The charges against the aforementioned public officials include "misappropriation of city funds, the presentation of fraudulent public records, deploying a TASER against a civilian in exchange for cash, and falsification of ledgers to conceal embezzlement."
More information from the Emmet County Sheriff's Office is included in this Facebook post:
Iowa Starting Line adds this:
"Bumm, Merrill, and Thackery pleaded not guilty and waived their rights to a speedy trial. Their next joint hearing is April 29."
It continues: "Lang pleaded guilty but has not yet been sentenced. Scheevel is scheduled to be arraigned this week."