Competent and Effective Leadership

The County Attorney is, first and foremost, chief prosecutor of crimes against the State of Iowa committed in Dubuque County.  To be successful in that role, the County Attorney should be proficient in the prosecution of criminal cases.  At minimum, the County Attorney must foster talent and dedication to truth and justice amongst the Assistant County Attorneys in the office.

Richard has the experience, vision, and dedication to accomplish the tasks required of the County Attorney.   Since Richard became a prosecutor in Dubuque County, no attorney has tried more cases to a jury.  No attorney has presented more cases, called for testimony from more victims, or cross-examined more defendants than Richard.  An effective leader leads by example, and Richard intends that the assistant county attorneys in the office follow his example.

The County Attorney cannot do it all, so training and mentorship must be a priority.  Similar to his time in the Army JAG Corps, Richard would formalize a training regimen within the office.  New attorneys should be pushed to learn from experienced prosecutors, and experienced prosecutors know better than anyone that there is always more to learn.  Prosecutors should regularly lead and attend training events with law enforcement, corrections personnel, victim services organizations, mental health organizations, and the many other groups who interact with the criminal justice system. 

The County Attorney must recruit and retain talented attorneys to work in the office, expediently filling vacancies within the office to avoid disruption in processing of cases.  The County Attorney is responsible for managing the caseloads of the prosecutors, ensuring prosecutors can fulfill their ethical duty to treat each case with care.  The County Attorney must promptly respond to inquiries by other Dubuque County government officials, and should build capacity within the office to answer both criminal and civil legal questions.  And, the County Attorney should encourage and contribute to community-led initiatives to assist in rehabilitation, including jail diversion and mental health programs.

Support staff in the office are just as important for the efficient administration of justice, and they should also be adequately trained not only in office tasks but the role of the prosecutor’s office in the justice system.  Pursuit of justice requires daily commitment, and every member of the office should be working towards that common goal.  

The vision—the ultimate goal of all of this training and preparation—is an office that quickly prepares cases for trial by competent and professional prosecutors.  Public safety is promoted through appropriate sentences for those convicted and the public knowledge that cases will not be dismissed or pled down unless that is what justice demands.

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