GavelThe Iowa Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a former central Iowa city attorney who admitted to making up records. The acting city manager in Indianola noticed in 2012 that the name of the client on the billing submitted by then city attorney John Hoyman didn’t match city arrest records.

Hoyman then admitted he had been picking names out of a phone book or made them up when billing the city for his time spent on trials. He said however, that the names didn’t really matter and he did not bill the city for more hours than he had worked, and everything evened out. The case went to trial and a felonious misconduct charge was dismissed, a jury acquitted him of theft, but the jury found Hoyman guilty of first-degree fraudulent practice. He was sentenced to an indeterminate term of ten years in prison.

Hoyman appealed the conviction saying the jury was improperly instructed in on the fraudulent practice charge and that led to a more severe sentence. The Iowa Supreme Court agreed the instructions taken together were potentially confusing and contradictory. The court reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial.

Full court ruling: Hoyman ruling PDF