Greg Buum

The Armstrong City Council has voted to place its police chief and city clerk on unpaid administrative leave after the two were among five current and former city officials arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into misconduct.

Police Chief Craig Merrill, Mayor Greg Buum, City Clerk Tracie Lang are among those facing charges.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ronald Trenary says the council made the decision because the investigation could go on for some time and the town’s budget could not handle paying the salaries of people who are no longer working for the city. The council is trying to meet the March 15 deadline for drafting the city’s for the next fiscal year.

“We have an accountant here in town that’s helping us with the budget because that’s the biggest thing for us right now is getting the budget set,” he says.

The city council has asked the Iowa League of Cities for help in finding people to serve as police chief and city clerk for the community, which has a population of about 900.

Two former city employees have also been arrested and charged as a result of an investigation into allegations of theft and misuse of city property that date back to 2013.

(By Matt McWilliams, KICD, Spencer)