Court: Legislation voided ‘evergreen’ clause in union contract
A state appeals court says Gov. Scott Walker’s public union restrictions voided retirement benefits for Neenah teachers.
Neenah schools and teachers negotiated a two-year contract in 2009 that provided a stipend and medical benefits to retiring teachers. The contract included an evergreen clause that guaranteed the deal would continue after the contract expired.
Lawmakers passed Walker’s restrictions in 2011. Neenah schools subsequently reduced benefits, prompting teachers to sue.
The 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the school district acted properly, finding the 2009 contract didn’t extend benefits beyond its expiration and the union restrictions voided the evergreen clause.
The teachers’ attorney, Charles Hertel, said he doesn’t believe the union restrictions invalidated pre-existing clauses and plans to appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Chisholm, Ozanne win district attorney races
The Milwaukee County district attorney who led an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker after his 2012 recall victory has won re-election.
John Chisholm defeated challenger Verona Swanigan on Tuesday. Swanigan, an attorney, was backed by conservatives who were critical of Chisholm’s investigation into Walker. Outside groups also spent heavily in the race against Chisholm.
The Dane County district attorney also won re-election Tuesday. Ismael Ozanne defeated a challenge from a prosecutor within his own office, Robert Jambois.
Neither faces an opponent in the Nov. 8 general election.
Ozanne was appointed as district attorney in 2010 and ran unopposed in 2012. He ran unsuccessfully for state attorney general in 2014 but lost the Democratic primary.
Voters to decide if Lee County should keep 2 courthouses
Voters in southeast Iowa’s Lee County will decide whether to end their unique status as the state’s only county with two functioning courthouses.
The Lee County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday morning to place a bond referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot seeking funding for a new courthouse estimated to cost $8.5 million.
Officials haven’t determined where the courthouse would be located but Supervisor Don Hunold has suggested it be built adjacent to the sheriff’s office in Montrose.
Residents have long questioned whether the county should maintain courthouses in Fort Madison and Keokuk but the board’s actions follows a discussion about needed improvements to the buildings totaling about $1 million.
Federal marshal accused of voyeurism faces new charges
Authorities have filed 20 new charges against a deputy U.S. marshal in Bismarck accused of using a cellphone camera to record under the doors of changing rooms at department stores.
Michael Rivera was originally charged in June with one felony count. Prosecutor Julie Lawyer says the state has since collected additional evidence, including hundreds of images of child sexual exploitation on Rivera’s computer.
South Central District Judge David Reich raised Rivera’s bond from $2,000 to $150,000 because of the additional allegations.
Defense attorney Lloyd Suhr argued for lower bond and said he was worried about Rivera’s safety as a federal law enforcement officer being held in a jail with federal prisoners.
Lawyer says Rivera will be held in a facility without federal prisoners.