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For immediate release - Monday, November 18, 2002.

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Statement of the
Attorney General's Office
Monday, November 18, 2002
Guilty pleas filed with court by former Kossuth County Sheriff
Kevin D.VanOtterloo

Former Kossuth County Sheriff Kevin D. VanOtterloo today filed a written plea of guilty to three felony counts. VanOtterloo filed the written plea at Kossuth County District Court in Algona. A pretrial hearing was set for 9:30 a.m. December 2, at which the Court is expected to decide whether to accept the defendant's plea and, if so, to proceed to sentencing.

VanOtterloo filed guilty pleas to charges that were filed August 19 by the Attorney General's Office: Theft in the First Degree, a class C felony, Felonious Misconduct in Office, a class D felony, and Forgery, a class D felony. The charges followed an audit of the Kossuth County Sheriff's Office by the Iowa State Auditor's Office. The audit was released publicly on June 27, 2002.

A class C felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000. Each of the two class D felonies is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $7,500.

Iowa law also provides that, if convicted, an offender is responsible for paying restitution to the victim. State prosecutors will ask the Court to order restitution to Kossuth County totaling $101,330.27 ($94,430.48 identified in the Auditor's Report as misappropriated by VanOtterloo, and $6,899.79 paid by the county for the State audit), and $1,400 to the Algona Officials Association that was identified as misappropriated by VanOtterloo when he was treasurer of the organization.

VanOtterloo became a Kossuth County deputy sheriff on May 19, 1980, and was appointed Sheriff Jan. 1, 1993. He submitted a letter of resignation March 19, 2002, citing "an error in my judgment, to use the county credit card for personal items."

The Attorney General's Office was asked to handle the matter by Kossuth County Attorney Todd Holmes. Assistant Attorney General Andy Prosser served as prosecutor. Mr. VanOtterloo is represented by attorney John D. Brown of Emmetsburg, Iowa.

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