Monroe County Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Felony
Statement of the Attorney General's Office:
Monroe County Sheriff Edward J. Hollinrake was charged today with the crime of Falsifying a Public Document, a Class D felony. Hollinrake entered a written plea of guilty to the charge and stated that he will resign as sheriff.
The trial information containing the criminal charge was filed today by the Attorney General's Office at Monroe County District Court in Albia. It alleged that Hollinrake falsified a public document last March by submitting to the Monroe County Auditor a fictitious claim for payment of public funds, knowing the claim was false.
Hollinrake, age 39, filed a written arraignment Monday afternoon at the Monroe County Court House with the plea of guilty to the charge. District Court Judge Daniel P. Wilson ordered a presentence investigation by Court Services and set judgment and sentencing for March 22 (in the afternoon, hour to be determined.) A Class D felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $500 to $7500.
The Attorney General's Office said it expected the matter of Hollinrake's resignation to be settled soon. When a judgment, sentencing and conviction of a felony are entered, a person is ineligible to serve as a sheriff in Iowa. Hollinrake was appointed sheriff December 1, 1996.
State Auditor Richard Johnson issued a report January 11 on a special investigation of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office covering the period Dec. 1, 1996, through August 24, 1998. The Auditor's report referred to tire purchases by the Sheriff's Dept. from Steve Kosman, doing business as Kosman Repair. The State Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) investigated the
transaction. The charge filed against Hollinrake alleges a fictitious, purported sale of tires by Kosman Repair to the Sheriff's Office in February 1998 in a total amount of $420. The sale of tires never occurred. The Sheriff obtained $420 in cash from Mr. Kosman and submitted a false claim to the Board of Supervisors causing a County check in the amount of $420 to be issued to Kosman Repair.
The Auditor's report on the special investigation also noted questions about other transactions or practices in the office, and it included various recommendations to strengthen the Sheriff's Office internal control and overall operations.
The Attorney General's Office initially was asked to serve as prosecutor in the matter by former Monroe County Attorney William Owens. The matter was handled by Harold "Butch" Young, director of the Area Prosecutions Division of the Attorney General's Office.
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