Native Information: County legal professional will get OK so as to add extra employees (12/4/20)

Local News: County attorney gets OK to add more staff (12/4/20)

PLYMOUTH CO. ?? Plymouth County attorney Darin Raymond is set to receive much-needed help with the caseload of his office in the near future after the Plymouth County Regulatory Authority took action Tuesday.

The board unanimously approved the addition of a full-time district attorney. In addition, Raymond will hire someone to fill the position vacated by Amy Oetken’s departure.

Oetken, who worked for the district attorney for 23 years, accepted the position as district attorney in the Lyon district. Her last day with Plymouth County was Monday November 30th.

For the past two years I have spoken informally with you about resource needs and the need to add a lawyer if necessary. At this point in time I don’t see the possibility of replacing Miss Oetken’s 23 years of experience with a single person. Raymond told the board.

Raymond said he started the interview process.

?? At this point in time, none of the applicants have any recent or significant law enforcement experience in Iowa. ?? Said Raymond. They have law enforcement experience in Nebraska but have not worked in Iowa, and I have a civil litigation attorney who applied. And of the three applicants I interviewed, one will be taking the bar in February and won’t be available until April. What this means is that we wouldn’t be filling the vacancy this week or the next. We’d still be limping until then.

Raymond said during his 27 years in the office that he saw the county’s case load increase significantly.

In particular, he cited various yardsticks used to measure this increase, including: the building of a prison with more than 50 beds by the county and talk of the need to double the bunk because it increases capacity; the sheriff’s office and the Le Mars Police Department raise officers; Working with a variety of agencies including officials in the county’s small towns, the Iowa State Patrol, DNR, federal agencies, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to name a few.

Raymond also noted that Plymouth County is adjacent to a larger city like Sioux City, and that a four-lane road also affects what hits his desk.

?? If I found two qualified applicants to offer the position to, would I be able to do so sooner rather than later? ?? he explained.

Jacqueline Bossman recently started working as a part-time temporary clerk in the prosecution. Raymond said she was currently working on getting her Iowa license.

Bossman previously worked for Grassley’s office in DC. Once she has received her license, she can be one of the applicants under consideration.