Public Safety

Corrections officer fired after punching deputy, partner in face

Details of the arrest had been shielded until employment case.#xa0;

CLINTON COUNTY — An off-duty corrections officer was charged with domestic assault and later fired after punching the face of her boyfriend, who was a deputy sheriff for the same agency in Clinton County, according to state records released last week.

A neighbor called DeWitt Police about midnight Oct. 4. The neighbor reported hearing an argument and seeing Patricia A. Edwards, a former civilian correctional officer at the Clinton County Jail, hitting a man in a vehicle, a police report says. The report was released as part of the state records but not through the police department.

“The victim’s left eye and cheek area were visibly bruised and swollen,” police observed after arriving at the victim’s residence, according to a police report. “The victim’s shirt was torn to shreds and falling off his body.”

Edwards, 47, admitted hitting her longtime domestic partner — The Gazette generally does not name victims of domestic abuse — and said he hadn’t struck her in any way, according to police. Police charged Edwards with

domestic abuse.

Despite the seriousness of the crime, details of the arrest have been kept confidential.

Edwards, who had worked for the county since 2003, received a six-month deferred judgment on a lesser charge.

Edwards is on unsupervised probation and must pay a $100 civil penalty, according to a Nov. 10 order by 7th District Judge Phillip J. Tabor.

No public records of the case exist in the Clinton County Courthouse or through Iowa Courts Online, a repository for cases in Iowa.

DeWitt Police Chief David Porter said he can’t discuss the case or release the police report.

Clinton County Attorney Mike Wolf said no public records exist and he can’t acknowledge the case.

Typically, in deferred judgments, charges are expunged after completing probation and conditions of the deal are met, but the record can get wiped clean early, said Clinton County Clerk of Court Kim Hess.

The judge makes those decisions,” Hess said.

The case is coming to light now because Edwards appealed for unemployment benefits. Details surrounding the firing and arrest were included in the ruling, which was obtained upon request by The Gazette.

The morning of her arrest, Clinton County Chief Deputy Kevin Cain placed Edwards on paid leave pending an internal affairs investigation, and later recommended firing her based on four policy violations, including gross misconduct of law and policy, according to the employment records.

Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln held a hearing before firing Edwards.

Edwards lost her job Nov. 30 and appealed for unemployment benefits Dec. 14, stating her actions hadn’t been proved by the courts or her employer, and she thought the firing violated her union rights.

Administrative Law Judge Stephanie R. Callahan upheld Edwards’ firing as proper. She denied the appeal for unemployment benefits.

Other recent unemployment cases:

— Just out of prison: Former University of Iowa nursing assistant Dan H. Wickenkamp was fired after repeated incidents of rough treatment of patients, disparaging remarks such as calling a patient “nuts,” and telling a patient “it was the only job he could get out of prison.” Administrative Law Judge Callahan agreed Wickenkamp was fired for misconduct, denied benefits and ordered he repay $942.

— Concealed in a book: Angeline A. Osterkamp was fired for misconduct as a paraeducator in the Anamosa School District after a pattern of inappropriate behavior including “rolling her eyes,” being “sarcastic,” and doing the “bare minimum.” She would take long lunch and cigarette breaks and “cut out the inside of a book to conceal her phone,” according to a ruling denying benefits by Administrative Law Judge Dévon M. Lewis.


— Harassment: Timothy J. Evans, who worked for Cedar Rapids for 20 years, was fired for harassing corworkers, including using profane remarks to describe a colleague who’d complained Evans was driving erratically in his work vehicle. Administrative Law Judge Blair A. Bennett ruled a lack of evidence didn't support misconduct and Evans could collect unemployment benefits.

— Loaded gun on city grounds; A Fairfax public works employee a supervisor considered “hostile” was fired after carrying a concealed loaded gun into a city building while working and for disarming a motion detector designed to prevent vandalism at the sewer plant. Administrative Law Judge Beth A. Scheetz ruled Jeffrey Ammeter was fired for misconduct and overpaid $2,912 in benefits.

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