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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Fremont County attorney selected for work with Iowa's new Public Information Board

  • Fremont County Attorney Margaret Johnson offered her resignation July 1 for her new role as deputy director of Iowa's new Public Information Board.At the urging of Gov. Terry Branstad, the Iowa Legislature adopted legislation in July of 2012 to establish the board aimed at promoting transparency in government and hand...
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  • Fremont County Attorney Margaret Johnson offered her resignation July 1 for her new role as deputy director of Iowa's new Public Information Board.
    At the urging of Gov. Terry Branstad, the Iowa Legislature adopted legislation in July of 2012 to establish the board aimed at promoting transparency in government and handling complaints of violations of open meetings and open records laws. The Legislature recently funded the board with $350,000 for the year.
    Johnson, who was elected county attorney in 2006 and 2010, said her new job description is a natural fit for her.
    "I really believe government needs to be transparent," she said. "We have nothing to hide so we might as well be as transparent as we can."
    As county attorney, Johnson assisted victims to make sure they received restitution and adopted a program for state training of a victim witness coordinator.
    She helped establish Fremont County as one of 30 Iowa counties participating in the Drug Endangered Children Coalition, which includes all agencies and groups involved with children in homes where drug abuse is known.
    Her office typically handles 200 district court criminal cases and over 200 magistrate court cases, as well as juvenile, mental health and county litigation.
    The Fremont County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday and agreed to seek the appointment of an acting county attorney until an attorney is selected to fill out the remainder of Johnson's term, which would expire in January of 2015.
    Johnson, a graduate of Fremont-Mills High School, received her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and her law degree from William and Mary University in Willamsburg, Va.
    She served as a judge advocate general with the U.S. Army in Colorado and a state child advocate before returning to Fremont County.
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