Mayor charged with theft asked to resignThe Gregory City Council will draft a letter requesting the resignation of Mayor Wade Juracek, who appeared in a Gregory County courtroom Tuesday on multiple charges of felony theft and drug possession.
By: Austin Kaus The Daily Republic, Worthington Daily Globe
The Gregory City Council will draft a letter requesting the resignation of Mayor Wade Juracek, who appeared in a Gregory County courtroom Tuesday on multiple charges of felony theft and drug possession.
The council went into executive session at a special meeting Monday evening, citing personnel discussions. After 33 minutes, the council was taken out of executive session by council President Dan DeSmet. The council agreed to have City Attorney George Johnson draft the letter to Juracek.
Juracek, 38, has been accused of stealing prescription drugs from several Gregory County homes. He faces nine felony charges, including three counts of possession of a controlled substance, three counts of second-degree burglary and three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by theft.
If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison and $70,000 in fines.
During Juracek’s initial court appearance Tuesday morning, Judge Kathleen F. Trandahl advised Juracek of his rights and scheduled a preliminary hearing for 11 a.m. Feb. 24.
Juracek was released on a personal recognizance bond, but not before being ordered to obey all laws, not possess any alcohol or illegal drugs, participate in the 24/7 Sobriety Program — which includes regular drug and alcohol tests — and to consent to a voluntary search of his home for alcohol or drugs. Juracek is not allowed in a bar and must make weekly contact with his attorney, Don Covey of Winner.
During the hearing, Gregory County State’s Attorney Sandy Steffen requested the judge order Juracek to not enter homes other than his own, but the motion was denied by Trandahl.
“We get calls still (from) people concerned,” Steffen said. “I do think that it’s an appropriate condition.”
When asked if he understood the charges against him and the conditions ordered by the judge, Juracek responded “Yes, ma’am.”
Juracek would not comment after the court proceeding.
According to a police report filed by Gregory County Deputy Sheriff J.J. Wolf, Juracek has admitted to the series of thefts, claiming he committed the crimes to get additional pain killers.
According to court paperwork, Juracek visited several homes in the county and asked to use a restroom. He then, according to court papers, stole prescription medication such as morphine and Oxycodone.
On Feb. 2, Juracek apologized to the Gregory City Council for absences from council meetings, claiming an addiction to painkillers had resulted in “a few poor decisions.” Juracek said medical complications related to osteocolitis led to the addiction, but he had not decided to resign from his position.
Telephone calls seeking comment from members of leadership on the Gregory City Council were not returned Tuesday.