A report in the Omaha World-Herald says dozens of Monona County residents have signed petitions asking for the resignation of the County Auditor. The names of nearly 150 people are on the petitions seeking the resignation of 28-year old Brooke Kuhlmann, who was arrested July 29th on methamphetamine-related charges, during a sting involving an undercover State Trooper. The Board of Supervisors accepted the petitions on Friday, and voted to turn them over to the County Attorney for a response by no later than Sept. 24th.
Kuhlmann has plead not guilty to charges of methamphetamine possession, a serious misdemeanor, and possessing drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.County officials say since her arrest, Kuhlmann’s job attendance has been spotty, and she generally shows up only on Tuesdays, when the County Board of Supervisors normally meets. Kuhlmann, whose salary is nearly $48,000 per year, told The World-Herald she is working from home. State law does not dictate how often a county auditor should be at work.
The petitions may have no bearing on whether Kuhlmann can keep her job as county auditor. During the Friday meeting, the board members briefly discussed how Kuhlmann might leave office if she does not resign. If she were not in the county for 60 consecutive days, the board could declare the position vacant and begin the replacement process.
Iowa law does not allow for recalls. It does allow an elected official to be removed from office for willful misconduct and maladministration. The county attorney would have to file a petition; a hearing would be held in district court; and ultimately a judge would decide.
Kuhlmann, a Democrat, was first elected in 2008.