A Station for Everyone
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Newscast 12.6.2023: Woodbury County official calls Supervisor Taylor continuing to hold office a distraction, other official lays out 3 ways Taylor could be removed

Chief Judge for the Northern District of Iowa Leonard Strand
Chief Judge for the Northern District of Iowa Leonard Strand

As more people spoke up in a public meeting calling for the resignation of Supervisor Jeremy Taylor, the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to strip Taylor of his vice chairman role, after his continuing refusal to resign following his wife's federal conviction on 52 counts of voter fraud in late November.

The supervisors don’t have the authority to force Taylor to resign, per Iowa code. County board Chairman Matthew Ung saidTaylor’s situation has received national news coverage, and called his continuing service on the board a distraction.

County Auditor Pat Gill explained Tuesday the three possible avenues to have Taylor removed. All three involve a petition going to a district court, where the court would determine if Taylor is to be ousted.

The petition to the district court could come from either the offices of the Woodbury County Attorney or the Iowa Attorney General, with the third option being a petition brought by at least five county residents.

The jury in a federal trial found Kim Phuong Taylor, the wife of Jeremy Taylor, guilty of the voter fraud counts. Prosecutors laid out a case about her illegally filling out election documents and ballots for members of the Vietnamese community, who had limited ability to read and understand English.

Jeremy Taylor has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. Taylor plans to complete his four-year supervisor term through the end of 2024, and on Tuesday said he takes his role seriously to best represent Woodbury County residents.

Two people affiliated with Siouxland labor union groups, at the meeting said Taylor should resign after his wife's fraud convictions.

One of the unions represents deputies and jailers working in the county sheriff’s office. Additionally, Craig Levine of the Western Iowa Labor Federation said that group would like to see the Iowa AG remove Taylor.

Taylor listened, but made no comment after those assertions.

Supervisor Dan Bittinger said he would not advocate that the Iowa AG office take on the matter, as it could be seen as a “political” move, of “railroading someone out of office.” Ung said County Attorney James Loomis is aware of the option, but not in a position to now decide, with the office highly understaffed.

Gill told Siouxland Public Media he is holding off asking the Iowa Attorney General office to consider the matter until the county attorney's office decides whether to proceed or not.

Three of the other four supervisors have said Taylor should resign his supervisor position, but since he will not, they stripped Taylor of his leadership post, an action that Taylor agreed to and voted for.

Ung called it a mostly ceremonial action, since the county only has two more meetings this year and Ung plans to be at them all, so Taylor will not lead meetings in Ung’s absence.

Kim Taylor will be sentenced at a later date. She faces five years in prison on each count of voter fraud.

In other news, next week is Universal Human Rights Day, and the Sioux City Human Rights Commission therefore is honoring local people and organizations for outstanding public service in promoting civil and human rights.

The honorees were named Wednesday, and will be officially honored in a ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Sioux City Public Museum, when the Sioux City Human Rights Commission will celebrate 60 years of service to Siouxland.

The 2023 War Eagle Human Rights Award recipients are Terry “T” Medina, Reverend Floyd E. Brown, Kim Jenkins, and the Sioux City Area NOW Chapter, for its years of work to bring attention to the Terri McCauley murder 40 years ago, which was a cold case, but now has some new inroads.

Medina was cited for his work with the Native Community, as an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska. He has served 28 years on the Winnebago Public School Board of Education, and works as a probation Officer for 32 years for the Winnebago Tribal Court.

Brown has served for many years as pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, and after retirement now serves on the commission.

Jenkins is employed by Siouxland Human Investment Partnership, and plays an integral role coordinating efforts for the annual Memorial March to Honor Lost Children. That event memorializes Native American children who have been taken from their families and communities and placed in the country's child-welfare system.