We are still waiting to hear from the Iowa attorney general’s office on the specifics but a statement from former Iowa Film Office Director Tom Wheeler indicates his client now faces criminal charges in the state’s film office tax credit scandal. (Updated: Here’s the release on the attorney general’s website. Wheeler is not the only one to face charges.)
Here’s what we got from attorney, Gordon Fischer:
Press Statement: We have been told that the Office of the Iowa Attorney General is filing charges today against Tom Wheeler based on his previous employment with the Iowa Film Office. We are disappointed with the Attorney General’s decision to file criminal charges under the facts and circumstances of the situation as we know them. The state has decided to pursue a novel theory of criminal liability and it is our position that their decision is a mistake that is not supported by the facts or the law. However, because they have chosen this path, Tom’s focus must now necessarily shift from trying to help the state develop a functional, and economically beneficial, tax incentive program to defending against the criminal charges. Because of this shift in focus, we will need time to review the state’s charging documents before anyone can make specific comments about the facts underlying the Attorney General’s allegations. We anticipate that someone familiar with the case will be prepared to address more specific questions in the very near future.