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Judge Greve Named Chief Judge of Seventh Judicial District PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Davis   
Friday, 29 March 2013 08:37

Des Moines, March 28, 2013 —The Iowa Supreme Court has appointed District Judge Marlita A. Greve, Bettendorf, as Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial District. Judge Greve succeeds Judge Bobbi Alpers who will retire April 4, 2013.

"Judge Greve is well respected by both attorneys and her fellow judges in the Seventh District," Chief Justice Mark Cady said. "She has shown a strong commitment to our legal system and our profession. Her experience in business management will complement her excellent legal background."

Judge Greve was appointed to the bench in 2006. She received her undergraduate degree from Upper Iowa University Magna Cum Laude and her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law with High Distinction. After graduating from law school in 1992, Judge Greve practiced as a trial lawyer in the areas of employment law, civil rights, personal injury and general civil litigation. Judge Greve is a member of the Scott County Bar Association, the Iowa State Bar Association, the Iowa Judges Association and Dillon Inns of Court. She is married and has a daughter.

"It is an honor to be selected as Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial District," Judge Greve said. "I am pleased, eager and excited to carry on the work of Chief Judge Alpers and those before her. I am so privileged to have such hardworking and dedicated judicial officers and staff. Our goal is to continue to promote our judicial branch to our citizens and to continue to serve their needs as efficiently, promptly and respectfully as we can."

As chief judge, Judge Greve will supervise all judicial officers and court employees in the district, supervise the performance of administrative and judicial business in the district, set the times and places of holding court, designate presiding judges, and serve on the judicial council, which advises the supreme court on administrative matters affecting the trial courts. In addition, she will continue to preside over cases.

The Seventh Judicial District is located in eastern Iowa and comprises five counties: Cedar, Clinton, Jackson, Muscatine, and Scott. The district has twelve district judges, five district associate judges, four senior judges, fifteen part-time magistrates, and 166 employees, with an operating budget for the current fiscal year of approximately $14 million. A total of 85,614 cases were filed in the Seventh Judicial District last year.

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2013

 
Governor Quinn Praises State Employees for Discovering and Reporting Fraud Scheme PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Erin Wilson   
Friday, 29 March 2013 08:18

Capital Development Board Staff Vigilance Resulted in Successful Prosecution of Contractor Who Violated State Law

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement regarding the investigation of the former president of a Peoria area construction firm who pled guilty to fraud in a scheme to obtain millions in taxpayer-funded state contracts. The fraud was discovered and reported by employees of the state’s Capital Development Board, which oversees all non-road, state-funded construction projects. Governor Quinn has made restoring integrity to Illinois government a top priority.

“The employees of the state’s Capital Development Board who uncovered this fraud scheme and reported it to the proper authorities are to be commended for their vigilance. Because of their careful oversight of state contracts involving millions of dollars, a clear message is being sent that corruption will not be tolerated in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “I urge all state employees to follow their example so we can make sure that all state funds are properly spent, and Illinois taxpayers can realize the benefits of state-funded projects.”

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Iowa League of Cities victory against the EPA PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 28 March 2013 15:10
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Senator Chuck Grassley made the comment below about the Iowa League of Cities victory in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency.  In 2008 and 2009, Senator Grassley forwarded questions to the Environmental Protection Agency for the Iowa cities, including Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Ottumwa, and Waterloo.  This week, a three-member panel of the court, in a unanimous decision, said the EPA exceeded its legal authority and didn’t follow proper rulemaking.

Senator Grassley’s comment:

“The Environmental Protection Agency attempted to impose a new process for handling wastewater on several Iowa cities that would have cost Iowans hundreds of millions of dollars, but which the court has now confirmed were not necessary to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act and current regulations.  The court rejected the Environmental Protection Agency’s claim that its mandate to the Iowa cities was just an interpretation of existing rules, which is a way for agencies to make an end run around the rulemaking process, a process designed for stakeholder voices to be considered and for the federal bureaucracy to be held as accountable as possible.  This decision should send a clear signal to the EPA and other federal agencies that they must act within the law established by Congress and cannot dictate willy-nilly.”

 
Loebsack to Host Preparing Today’s Employees for the Jobs of Tomorrow Roundtable in Bettendorf PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Thursday, 28 March 2013 14:57

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today he will be bringing together a group of stakeholders in Bettendorf, TOMORROW, March 28 at 10:30am for a roundtable on Preparing Today’s Employees for the Jobs of Tomorrow.  Loebsack will be joined by local leaders in education, workforce development, labor and businesses to gain insight on how to ensure employees are properly trained so they can effectively compete in the 21st Century global economy.  Media are invited to attend.

Preparing Today’s Employees for the Jobs of Tomorrow Roundtable

Scott Community College

Student Life Center, Main Campus (Door 5)

500 Belmont Rd

Bettendorf

10:30am

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Conflicting Testimony in Quid Pro Quo Deal b/n DoJ and St. Paul, Minn. PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 28 March 2013 13:00

Grassley Questions Contradicting Testimony by Justice Department

Official in Quid Pro Quo with St. Paul

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is pressing a key player in the quid pro quo deal between the Justice Department and St. Paul, Minn. to explain the contradiction between information given in a formal briefing to Senate Judiciary Committee staff and documents provided to the committee after the briefing.

In a letter sent today, Grassley asked Joyce Branda, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, to explain seemingly conflicting information she provided during a briefing to Judiciary Committee staff and emails she sent during the department’s handling of the deal.

“Documents clearly show that at the time of the briefing, the department was well aware of the ‘exchange’ between the Justice Department and the city of St. Paul. It makes me wonder whether Ms. Branda was instructed by higher-ups not to call the deal an ‘exchange’ when she briefed Judiciary Committee staff,” Grassley said.

Grassley has been conducting oversight of an apparent quid pro quo deal between the Justice Department and St. Paul, Minn., which turned a blind eye to potentially recovering hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Specifically, the Justice Department agreed not to intervene in a False Claims Act case in exchange for the city of St. Paul’s agreement to withdraw a separate case on housing issues that was supposed to be heard by the Supreme Court. The United States was not a party in the case before the Supreme Court, which makes it highly questionable that the Justice Department would find it appropriate to use that case as part of its deal with the city of St. Paul.  Unlike the False Claims Act cases the United States could have joined, and which could have resulted in a recovery of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, there was no direct interest of the United States in the outcome of the Magner case.  House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa are also investigating the deal.

Here is Grassley’s letter. A copy of the signed letter and the attachments can be found here.

 

March 26, 2013

VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION

Joyce R. Branda
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530


Dear Deputy Assistant Attorney General Branda:

On February 5, 2013, you appeared before Congressional staff to provide information regarding the Department’s involvement in the decision of the City of St. Paul, Minnesota, to withdraw its petition for certiorari in Magner v. Gallagher.[1] The briefing was provided to the Majority and Minority staff of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.  It is my understanding you provided a similar briefing to staff for the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on December 5, 2012.

In the February 5 briefing, you told Committee staff: “We didn’t decline to intervene in exchange” for St. Paul withdrawing Magner.  On multiple occasions in the briefing, you disputed the characterization that it was an exchange.  At the time, the Department was withholding documents about this matter from Congress.

However, documents since produced by the Department show that on March 8, 2012, you received a list of significant cases from Michael Granston, then Deputy Director in the Commercial Litigation Branch’s Fraud Section, a direct subordinate to you.[2] Twenty-five minutes later, you forwarded the document to Jonathan Olin in the Civil Division front office, writing: “St. Paul updated and edited for clarity[.]”[3] The portion of the document relating to U.S. v. City of St. Paul read:

Government declined to intervene in Newell, and has agreed to decline to intervene in Ellis, in exchange for defendants withdrawal [sic] of cert. petition in Gallagher case (a civil rights action).[4]

Accordingly, I ask that you explain why your assertions to Congressional staff were directly contrary to the documentary record.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

Ranking Member

 

cc:        The Honorable Patrick Leahy, Chairman

U.S. Senate, Committee on the Judiciary

 

The Honorable Bob Goodlatte, Chairman

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary

 

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary

 

The Honorable Darrell Issa, Chairman

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

 

The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform


The Honorable Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General U.S. Department of Justice

 

[1] See Magner v. Gallagher, 132 S. Ct. 1306 (Feb. 14,2012) (dismissing writ of certiorari).

2 E-mail from Michael Granston to Joyce Branda (Mar. 8, 2010, 3:25 PM) [HJC/HOGR STP 001402-001404].

3 E-mail from Joyce Branda to Jonathan F. Olin (Mar. 8, 2010, 3:51 PM) [HJC/HOGR STP 001402-001404].

4 “Significant Affirmative Civil and Criminal Matters,” updated Mar. 8, 2012 [HJC/HOGR STP 001404] [emphasis added].




 
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