A Cedar Rapids man was led out of the statehouse today in handcuffs, accused of pilfering through women’s purses in the capitol.
Thirty-eight-year-old Marshall Clemons, a school custodian who’s a local leader in the Service Employees International Union, has been charged with two counts of fifth degree theft and booked into the Polk County Jail.
Lieutenant Mark Logsdon, head of the statehouse security detail, says a lobbyist confronted Clemons after seeing Clemons take money out of a woman’s wallet. "He found the money on this person and the billfold had been discarded into a recycling bin and the suspect reached into the recycling bin and retrieved it," Logsdon says.
"At that time, the lobbyist told him he needed to leave, basically, and not do that again." But authorities say Clemons still had another woman’s billfold and he went into a restroom at the statehouse to discard it. That’s where he was detained by statehouse security officers.
"This individual was later discovered to have discarded another lady’s billfold in one of the toilets of the men’s restroom," Logsdon says.
Clemons was part of a "contingent" of union members who were at the statehouse lobbying legislators according to Lieutenant Logsdon. The lieutenant says the two women have been reunited with their billfolds. "Crime did not pay today," Logsdon says.
Clemons is on the executive committee of his local Service Employees International Union. In 2007, Joe Biden worked alongside Clemons at his school in Cedar Rapids as part of an SEIU effort to lobby the presidential candidates. In 2008, Clemons was invited to sit with Biden and his family in their box at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
A spokesperson for SEIU Local 199 in Cedar Rapids was not immediately available for comment this afternoon.