Constitutional Law

County Attorney Whose Law License Was Summarily Suspended for Not Trying Cases Is Back On the Job


A county prosecutor who summarily had his law license suspended for almost a month by the Iowa Supreme Court’s chief justice because of a claimed “temporary disability,” admittedly didn’t stay on top of his busy criminal caseload.

But there was no indication that Appanoose County Attorney Richard Scott was in any way incapacitated, his lawyer tells the Republic. And the state supreme court seemingly agreed this week, restoring Scott’s license Wednesday after a hearing on Tuesday. He will have oversight for the next 90 days.

“They didn’t present any evidence because there isn’t any,” attorney David L. Brown of Des Moines, who represents Scott, told the newspaper on Friday. “There is no grounds to say he is in any way incapacitated, incompetent or impaired. He’s very bright, very intelligent. He has no issues that impacts his ability to serve as an elected public official.”

Scott had his law license suspended—without a hearing—on May 2, after an attorney disciplinary panel said he posed “a substantial threat of serious harm to the public” because he wasn’t doing his job.

Scott, who has been in office since 2008, hadn’t tried a felony, drunken-driving or aggravated misdemeanor case since then, according to the panel, either plea-bargaining or dismissing cases instead.

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