Pott. Co. Sheriff Responds to “Baseless Criminal Accusations”


May 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(updated 10:45-a.m.)

Jeff Danker, Sheriff/Pottawattamie Co., IA

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker this (Thursday) morning, issued a press release in response to what he calls “Baseless allegations” brought against him and his former Chief Deputy, by his opponent, Republican John Hitchcock, in the upcoming election. Danker says over the past year, Hitchcock made more than 24 Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request from the Sheriff’s Office. Danker says they provided him with various pieces of information, including cell phone bills…clothing allowances…the purchase of vehicles…Information Technology policy, other polices and procedures. The Sheriff told KJAN News Hitchcock put together a group of about 11 items for review by County Attorney Matt Wilber. To make sure there was no conflict of interest or impropriety,  Wilber sent the information to Dallas County Attorney Wayne M. Reisetter.

Danker says he wasn’t even aware the private investigation was underway until the information Hitchcock requested came back from Dallas County. Reisetter indicated there was no need for criminal charges, and he was pointed in his response for having gone through the process to begin with. Danker says after review of the “Baseless criminal allegations,” Reisetter concluded ”The vast majority of the material does not appear to be remotely related to a cause for criminal investigation, raising a serious question as to whether the person (Hitchcock) making the allegations, has the remotest idea as to the function and scope of a criminal investigation, or of the limits of government intrusion by investigation.”

Danker says it’s disappointing to him that Hitchcock did whatever he could to come up with something to try and destroy his reputation so he would have a better shot at winning the election for Sheriff.” This election marks the first time Danker, who’s served the residents of Pottawattamie County as Sheriff for the past 20-years, and has been with the department for a total of 35-years, is facing an opponent. He says it appears Hitchcock is disparaging him in an attempt to win the election, because “He (Hitchcock) has no experience in administration or supervising law enforcement.”