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Former Iowa jailer accused of releasing inmates early; authorities pursuing charges

This news story was published on June 22, 2020.
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INDEPENDENCE, IOWA – A former Iowa jailer is accused of releasing inmates early and authorities are pursuing charges.

In the late evening of April 22, 2020, the Buchanan County Attorney’s Office acquired information that an individual serving a jail sentence in the Buchanan County Jail may have been intentionally and illegally released from the custody of the Buchanan County Sheriff.

A preliminary investigation was conducted by the Buchanan County Attorney’s Office on April 23, 2020, which revealed additional information of concern pertaining to the release of inmates. At that time it was also determined that employees of the Buchanan County Attorney’s Office could potentially become witnesses by pursuing the investigation.

On April 24, 2020, the Buchanan County Attorney’s Office referred the investigation to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and any possible prosecution arising out of the same to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

On June 5, 2020, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office filed an eight count Verified Application for Order to Show Cause against Buchanan County Jail Administrator Russell D. West.  West resigned his position with Buchanan County on June 3, 2020.  Allegedly, West had let at last 8 inmates out of jail prior to their jail sentences being fully served, records show.

The matter remains in court at this time.  There’s a hearing scheduled for August 26.

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