The mayor of a southwest Iowa community will go to trial as he fights two theft charges in Fremont County District Court. Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman plead not guilty to charges of theft by misappropriation and second-degree theft. The charges were filed after a special audit of the city’s finances found nearly 50-thousand dollars worth of payments were made that were improper, unsupported or with no public purpose documented.

Earlier this month, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office filed a petition to remove Holliman from office for willful misconduct or maladministration and corruption. The mayor has said he is innocent of the charges and intends to fight to stay in office. His trial date has been set for January 30th.

Meanwhile, there’s been a delay in the mayor’s animal abuse trial which was to have started Tuesday. Holliman faces seven counts of animal abuse in connection with the killing of seven dogs belonging to a Hamburg resident. The incident occurred in September 2005 and also involves former Hamburg Police Chief Nick Millsap, whose trial is also on hold.