District Court Judge James Drew has removed Van Buren County Attorney Abe Watkins from office.
The judgment came down Tuesday afternoon, with Drew ruling that, “During his tenure as County Attorney, Mr. Watkins has engaged in a pattern of conduct that is unacceptable by any reasonable standard.”
Watkins, who was elected to a four year term in 2014, and assumed office in 2015, does have the right to appeal the decision to the Iowa Supreme Court, though the ruling removes him from office immediately.
Van Buren County Supervisors filed the civil case in September, accusing Watkins of sexual inappropriateness and alcohol consumption in the workplace. Drew’s ruling stated that “Watkins has created a potential liability for the County…in light of his pattern of behavior it is appropriate that he be removed from office.”
The ruling also stated that his removal from office was to be effective immediately.
By Steve Smith, KMCD, Fairfield