Former Des Moines city councilman Archie Brooks today pled guilty to two counts of an indictment charging him with conspiracy and fraud in the misuse of funds in a federal job training program in central Iowa. Brooks was accused of signing off using the federal funds to give administrators of the program huge salaries and bonuses.
The guilty plea was part of an agreement in which 17 other counts were dropped and the 58-year-old Brooks agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. U.S. Attorney Matt Whittaker says Brooks is not getting off easy. Whittaker says even though some counts are being dropped, all of the counts will be considered by the sentencing judge. Whittaker says they’ve recommended that Brooks serve 27 months in prison and pay up to $400,000 in restitution.
Brooks was the chair of the board of what was known as Central Iowa Employment Training Consortium and Whittaker says his cooperation will help prosecutors. Whittaker says Brooks did not personally gain any money from CIETC — and won’t venture a guess on Brooks’ motives.
Whittaker says he doesn’t know and won’t speculate on why Brooks did what he did. Four others face trial in the case: Ramona Cunningham, former C-E-O of CIETC; Karen Tesdall, the organization’s former treasurer; Dan Albritton, former member of the CIETC board of directors; and Jan Barto, former deputy director of Iowa Workforce Development. Whittaker says the trials are on schedule for February.