Webster County Supervisor Merrill Leffler says the place is a mess. “They are cleaning the courthouse from the top to the bottom,” Leffler says. “The fine fire extinguisher dust was mainly on two floors but the fine dust went everywhere.” The extent of the damage isn’t yet known as it’s unclear what equipment and furnishings can be salvaged and what will have to be junked.
“We’re having it cleaned by professional crews,” he says. “The main concern is computer equipment but also you aren’t supposed to breathe the material in.” Several key offices are setting up temporary offices nearby, including the county recorder, assessor, auditor and the clerk of court.
No arrests have been made in the act of vandalism and Leffler says the Webster County Sheriff’s Department is spearheading the investigation. “It appears damage was directed at the 3rd and 4th floors which is primarily the judicial things, judges’ offices and those things,” he says. “We’re not 100% sure that it was directed at them but that’s where most of the damage was.”
The courthouse was built in 1902. Leffler says the supervisors will be looking into tighter security for the historic courthouse in the heart of downtown Fort Dodge. It will be closed until likely Monday.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)