Asst county attorney Farmer resigns after two weeks

Thomas Laehn (left) and Tim Farmer

The tenure of assistant county attorney Tim Farmer was very short, leaving county attorney Thomas Laehn solo in the office at what is often the busiest time of the year.
Farmer resigned Jan. 2 after he and Laehn agreed there were more conflicts with his private practice work in Perry than were anticipated. Farmer was hired Dec. 17 for the part-time position. His first day on the job was Dec. 19.

Laehn hopes to restructure the job to reduce ethical conflicts for Farmer. “I still think he’s the best person for the job,” Laehn told the county supervisors Monday. “He was a good fit in our office. He’s a very competent attorney… but we agree it’s best if we step back, wait a couple of weeks, and see if we can work out a mutually beneficial arrangement and maybe offer him a new contract.”

Laehn waived a two week notice clause in Farmer’s contract.

Meanwhile, Laehn’s caseload is growing. He reported that between Dec. 26 and Jan. 4 he filed 15 indictments and there are 73 criminal trials pending. He said he was proud the transition from retiring county attorney Nic Martino to Laehn taking office was done without dropping or losing any cases due to technicalities in filing.

Laehn also informed the board the courthouse security committee has recommendations for security enhancements to the building and grounds it wants to make to the board. “We had an assessment done that identified a series of vulnerabilities to the building and grounds that should be addressed,” he said.

He plans to go into closed session to discuss security risks as allowed by Iowa Code.

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