Grab a bag of popcorn because this is going to be a lot of fun.
Yesterday, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller filed charges against three moviemaker and Tom Wheeler, the former head of the Iowa Film Office. Miller’s singling out of Wheeler isn’t going over well with Wheeler’s legal team, which includes former U.S. Attorney candidate G. Gordon Fischer. Fischer is also a former Chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party.
Wheeler’s legal team suggests that the out-of-the blue indictments were politically motivated. Miller faces an opponent for the first time in modern history, and announces criminal charges on the same day that Brenna Findley announces her candidacy against him. Coincidence? Not according to Wheeler’s team.
“We find it very troubling that Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and his staff decided to charge Tom Wheeler and others the very day a Republican announces her intentions to run against Mr. Miller for Iowa Attorney General. The Attorney General in his own press announcement states that the investigation is on-going and Tom Wheeler is more than happy to cooperate with their investigation and pursue those that have defrauded the State of Iowa.
What is the rush with this indictment? It’s because Mr. Miller and his political consultants in a cynical political move decided to use this day to try to keep his Republican opponent, Ms. Breanna Findley, off the media radar by using a politically motivated indictment that will be the headline versus her announcement that he’ll have an opponent for the first time in decades…
…Mr. Miller’s scapegoating Tom Wheeler is truly surprising and unbecoming of the office of Iowa Attorney General. Iowans should be shocked Mr. Miller and his political consultants would pull such a stunt at the expense of Tom Wheeler, a junior employee at the Iowa Department of Economic Development, one of the hardest working employees in that department that regularly put in 65 hours a week with no extra pay and maintained a spotless employment record while employed by the State of Iowa.
Also, why hasn’t Mr. Miller held anyone else at IDED accountable or charge them with similar charges when the entire IDED team was involved in this fiasco including Mike Tramontina, Robert Lentz and the department’s lawyer Melaine Johnson. All have decades of business and government experience and are all scapegoating Tom Wheeler for a fraud perpetrated by film makers who turned out to be scam artists.
How can others at IDED still have their jobs? Scapegoating the most junior guy, Tom Wheeler, isn’t something I ever thought the Tom Miller I know and respect would do and he isn’t holding anyone else at the Iowa Department of Development or State of Iowa government accountable for this fiasco. Tom Wheeler may have been overwhelmed and took on too much work but he is not a criminal and he is not the only one that should be held accountable.”
Wheeler’s legal team raises a good point. If their client is guilty of nonfelonious misconduct of office, why isn’t former IDED head Mike Tramontina and others who were in charge of Wheeler and should have provided proper oversight of the program and Wheeler.
I have a feeling this one is going to get really interesting.
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