Larry Teeples

Councilman faces felony for threatening police chief

By JARED STRONG

j.strong@carrollspaper.com

A Jefferson city councilman threatened and swore at the town’s police chief early this month because he was upset about a traffic stop that involved his granddaughter, according to court records.

Larry Dean Teeples, 77, is charged with felony extortion for the Jan. 2 argument in which he threatened to use his elected position to block police-related items that need council approval, court records show.

The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, and Teeples could be removed from office if convicted.

Teeples went to the Law Enforcement Center about 2:50 p.m. to meet with Police Chief Mark Clouse because “he was tired of his bullshit,” according to a criminal complaint filed in district court last week.

A secretary at the LEC overheard Teeples say he “would no longer support the police in any way unless his grandkids were left alone,” the complaint says. That remark prompted Clouse to respond: “That’s it. We’re done. You can get out now.”

Details of the traffic stop were not immediately available, but Clouse was heard telling Teeples that his officers smelled marijuana in a vehicle.

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.”

Under Iowa law, someone who “threatens to take or withhold action as a public officer” commits felony extortion.

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