I want to call your attention to Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct 32:8.4, specifically paragraph (c.)
Chapter 32:8.4 “Misconduct” of the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct states:
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(a) violate or attempt to violate the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;
(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;
(e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;
(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law; or
(g) engage in sexual harassment or other unlawful discrimination in the practice of law or knowingly permit staff or agents subject to the lawyer’s direction and control to do so.
Testimony of Brenna Bird via electronic mail
1. “After speaking with Bennett, it appears the County does not have the records Mr. Merritt seeks.”; Brenna Bird, Mar 22, 2022, at 12:23 PM
2. “Deputy Bennett informed me that he previously called Mr. Merritt several times and spoke with him to try to understand what Mr. Merritt was seeking.”; Brenna Bird, Mar 22, 2022, at 12:23 PM
3. “Mr. Merritt did not make the same request in the past.”; Brenna Bird, Mon, Apr 4, 2022, at 5:02 PM
4. “In addition, in the past Dep. Bennett reached out to Mr. Merritt to understand what he was seeking.”; Brenna Bird, Mon, Apr 4, 2022, at 5:02 PM
5. “Ms. Fordyce, Mr. Merritt is now tagging the Guthrie County Sheriff’s office in social media posts. These social media posts have more information so Deputy Bennett thinks he knows what Mr. Merritt is seeking.”; Brenna Bird, Mon, Apr 4, 2022, at 5:02 PM
1. I have provided a sworn statement, including a Guthrie County, IA incident report number and testimony regarding historical events that directly contradict this statement.
2. I have not heard from Deputy Bennett since the electronic mail he sent on February 15th. I included with my complaint:
I am requesting records of his attempts to contact me via phone in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 22 and the reasoning for why he did not attempt to establish contact through the email address he already had. I am also requesting all electronic correspondence between email addresses email@example.com, J.Bennett@gcso.gov, and firstname.lastname@example.org from 03 DEC 2021 0001 CST – 05 DEC 2022 2359 CST mentioning Michael Merritt, Michael J Merritt, Michael J. Merritt, Michael James Merritt, 22FC:0018, **********@phoenixharbor.com, or ********@castlephoenix.com.
3. This is a false statement. My requests under Iowa Code chapter 22 have been consistent, particular, and adequately articulated.
Freedom of Information Status Request to the City of Guthrie Center, Iowa and Guthrie County, IA – #001 (phoenixharbor.com)
Freedom of Information Status Request Guthrie County, Iowa #002 (phoenixharbor.com)
Please Note: Public Copies have been redacted to protect the privacy of Iowa Citizens; that evidence currently does not support involvement in this situation. Original Copies provided to agencies were not redacted.
4. Please see my response to (2.) above.
5. This is inaccurate; I have been tagging Guthrie County, IA’s Sheriff’s Department in posts for over a month consistently. I began tagging them in posts over a year ago during their investigation of the incident report I requested. Consequently, social media posts over a year ago were what produced action within the Guthrie County, IA Sheriff’s Department. Facebook Profile link provided to show contents of profile regarding Guthrie County, IA Chief Law Enforcement Officer Brenna Bird’s claim they provided Chief Deputy Bennett additional information that was not in the original request.
In my analysis of this situation, I find Guthrie County, IA Chief Law Enforcement Officer Brenna Bird’s testimony lacking evidence and indicative of poorly constructed attempts to redirect the focus off of the fact that the agency she represents has issued false information not consistent with historical evidence. At the same time, communicating testimony that attempts to redirect responsibility in this situation off of Guthrie County, IA while this government agency has consistently displayed evidence of failing to take responsibility and ownership over incidents reported to it and requests made to this county entity it failed to respond to appropriately.
Guthrie County, IA Chief Law Enforcement Officer Brenna Bird’s testimony does not provide a productive path to a conclusion in this matter. Her claims lack supporting evidence and historical accuracy.
I will not tolerate any future attempts to redirect responsibility in this matter or inaccurate testimony that is not consistent with the evidence. I am referring the evidence of Guthrie County, IA Chief Law Enforcement Officer Brenna Bird’s handling of this request under Iowa Code Chapter 22 to the Iowa Supreme Court Disciplinary Review Board so they can determine if misconduct has occurred.
Suppose Guthrie County, IA Chief Law Enforcement Officer Brenna Bird cannot professionally complete a request under Iowa Code Chapter 22. How can we trust her to handle the responsibilities of Chief Legal Officer for the State of Iowa?
Michael J. Merritt, USN Retired/Writer
Information Warfare Specialist
Information Systems Manager
PO BOX 187
Newton, IA 50208
“The study of Ethics is a pursuit of understanding the philosophical nature of right and wrong in its most perfect form.
A society’s justice system is an ever-evolving pursuit of that perfection.
Corruption is the cultural, political, or personal bias that overrules and interferes with that system.”