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Lyon County investigates employee misconduct

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa -- In two separate cases, the Lyon County Sheriff's Office has filed criminal charges against county employees.

On Wednesday, charges of nonfelonious misconduct in office, a serious misdemeanor, were filed against eight county employees.

Michael Lambert Modder, 59, Gerald Grave Jr., 53, Robert Henry Gruis, 55, and Rickie Dale Denekas, 58, all of George, Iowa, are all accused of selling scrap iron belonging to Lyon County and splitting the proceeds.

Gary Lee Vogel, 61, and Steven Dale Ageson, 45, both of Rock Rapids, are accused of knowing and/or allowing the proceeds from the sale of scrap iron to be used for other purposes rather than depositing it as county revenue. Lorna Jane VanMaanen, 53, of Inwood, Iowa, is accused of failing to report cash income as county revenue.

Todd Arthur Huisman, 51, of Rock Rapids, has been charged with nonfelonious misconduct in office for selling scrap iron and not turning the proceeds in to the county auditor as revenue and also one count of misappropriation of property (second-degree theft), a Class D felony. This charge alleges that Huisman received more than $9,000 from the sale of scrap iron, used batteries and aluminum signs that belonged to the county.

In a separate investigation conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations and the Lyon County Sheriff's Department, former Lyon County Engineer Jeffrey Mark Williams, 58, of Rock Rapids, has been charged with three counts of nonfelonious misconduct in office for receiving training and equipment from Lyon County to perform septic tank inspections, which he then conducted as a private business.

Williams was also charged with second-degree theft, a class D felony, for receiving proceeds exceeding $1,000 in that business, which should have been county revenue.