Public Safety

Dunkerton police chief arrested on misconduct charges

Investigators charge she falsified time cards

Kristine Krieger

Dunkerton police chief
Kristine Krieger Dunkerton police chief

DUNKERTON — Dunkerton’s police chief has been arrested, accused of falsifying her time cards.

Black Hawk County sheriff’s deputies on Thursday arrested Katherine Olivia “Kate” Krieger, 25, of Jesup, on charges of second-degree theft, a felony, felonious misconduct in office, a felony, and four counts of records tampering, a misdemeanor. She was released from jail pending trial.

Court records indicate Krieger was placed on leave when questions arose about the hours she worked while patrolling the Black Hawk County city of 850 and overseeing its police force.

Her attorney, Tom Frerichs, told the Des Moines Register that Krieger, the Dunkerton chief since August 2018, believes the charges are excessive and unjustified and that she plans to plead not guilty.

In all, investigators allege she received $3,000 in pay in March and April by declaring she was on the clock when witness accounts and other evidence showed she was elsewhere, including working a law enforcement job at another agency some 70 miles away.

City officials went to the sheriff’s office in May with their concerns, and deputies compared her time cards with surveillance videos from City Hall, which also houses the police station, that allegedly showed her coming in late and leaving early.

In court records, sheriff’s investigators documented four times Krieger allegedly misrepresented her hours:

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• March 26, 27: Krieger was enrolled in a Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau class at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo but is accused of telling the mayor the classes were on March 25 and 26 and not attending the classes:

• March 31: Krieger submitted a time card for 7 to 9 p.m. when she worked an 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. shift for the Iowa Falls Police Department, more than an hour away, where she was an officer. During the shift, Black Hawk County dispatchers received a domestic disturbance call in Dunkerton, and Krieger’s phone records showed she placed an order at an Iowa Falls restaurant at that time, according to court records.

• April 4: Krieger filed a time card and said she had been at a Hawkeye Community College Criminal Justice Advisory Board meeting and then went to the dispatch center. Minutes from the meeting show she didn’t attend the meeting, and deputies said she didn’t go to the dispatch center.

• April 19: Krieger was on duty in Dunkerton but didn’t notify dispatchers she was on the job. Around 3 p.m., dispatchers received a domestic disturbance call in the city where a woman had locked herself in a car because she was afraid of a man, who had a knife or screwdriver. Krieger didn’t respond to the call but pulled into the police station — some six blocks away — around the time of the call and then went off duty. Sheriff’s deputies were sent to handle the call.

This is the second time a Dunkerton police chief had been charged with theft.

In 2016, longtime Chief Timothy Schultz pleaded to misdemeanor theft and credit card fraud charges for using city fuel pumps to fill his personal vehicle.

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