The former director of the Iowa Film Office was sentenced today in the film tax credit scandal. A Polk County District Court judge sentenced 42-two-year-old Tom Wheeler to two years probation for his conviction on the charge of misconduct in office in connection with the state program which awarded tax credits for movies and TV shows filmed in Iowa.
Wheeler was found not guilty on eight other counts including conspiracy. The charges came after it was found that some 26-million in film tax credits were improperly awarded. Wheeler was fired by then governor Chet Culver when the tax credit scandal came to light and the film office was shut down.
Wheeler’s defense argued that he had been hired to do marketing and customer relations and did not have the proper training to handle the film tax credits when the program was created. The judge granted Wheeler a deferred judgment, which means the conviction will be removed from his record if he successfully completes the two-year probation.
So far, just one person has been sentenced to prison time in connection with the scandal. A Minnesota film producer was given a 10-year prison sentence in the case after she pled guilty to a felony charge of fraudulent practice.