Charge against Teeples dropped

Councilman already resigned

Staff report

A longtime Jefferson city councilman is off the hook after Greene County Attorney Thomas Laehn dismissed the extortion charge against him Monday.

Larry Teeples, 77, could have faced five years in prison for the felony.

The charge was dropped just days after Teeples resigned from the council.

The Jefferson Herald broke the story on March 6 at about Teeples’ resignation.

Teeples, who had been on the council since 1995, allegedly threatened and swore at Jefferson Police Chief Mark Clouse on Jan. 2 because he was upset about a traffic stop that involved his granddaughter, according to court records.

During the incident, Teeples reportedly threatened to use his elected position to block police-related items that need council approval.

Greene County Sheriff Jack Williams investigated the incident, and Teeples admitted to threatening Clouse but backtracked and said “he wouldn’t have voted against anything.”

Seemingly true to his word, Teeples at a special meeting on Jan. 31 — less than a week after he was charged — seconded the motion to hire Shane Jones as a patrolman for the police department.

At the council’s Feb. 12 meeting, Teeples also gave his approval to a series of hiring incentives for new police officers proposed by Clouse.

Teeples had long represented Greene County on the Highway 30 Coalition, a group pushing for the full four-laning of the highway in Iowa.

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