Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Punish Public Servants

Today, Governor Chet Culver spoke publicly for the first time about separate incidents involving the family of Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Waterloo Democratic Representative Kerry Burt. Polk County deputies say they found an underage drinking party at the home of Justice Ternus and her husband, Dennis Drake, July 12th at their home in rural Grimes. Authorities later cited Drake for "interference with official acts" and the seven 19-year-olds with underage possession of alcohol. The report does not say whether Ternus was in the home. She was not cited in the incident.

For Representative Burt, this is the second incident involving the law since he began his first term at the Iowa Statehouse in January. An audit by Iowa Auditor David Vaudt alleges that Burt used a false address to get his children a tuition discount worth about $37,000 at the Price Laboratory on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Burt is already facing a drunk driving charge for an unrelated incident during the legislative session.

Today, the governor said the incident at the Chief Justice's home is a "local issue". He said he wasn't familiar with the case. He did say he was "troubled" by the Burt situation, although, he would not say Burt should resign. What do you think? Should Burt resign his position as a state lawmaker as Republican State Chairman Matt Strawn demanded? Should he keep his job until the legal matters are settled? What about the allegations of the underage drinking party at the Chief Justice's home? Should she be disciplined at all? The report, by the way, doesn't say she was home during the incident. Is this even a story at all?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Burt and the chief justice should resign immediately.. let's put some law abiding IOwans in these positions.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dave ,,, they are human , however, a fine and maybe a 30 day suspension would do nicely. They are serving polk county tax payers and should restrain from such incidents as elected officials.
Karl

Anonymous said...

If the judge was home at the time she should have the sense to step down from her position, because she is not living up to the standards of the job she is doing. The same is true for the representative. He also should have the good sense to step down.

Anonymous said...

Chief Justice Ternus should step down. And her & her husband should not be able to practice law in Iowa. And go back to Vinton!
My husband can recall, 'a Carroll School Teacher was charged & fired for the same thing.'
My husband thinks, 'this should apply to all State leaders as well.'

Anonymous said...

I Feel they should be held accountable for their actions and punished. All other citizens are.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme should resign her position. If this had occured at anyone else's home, there would be a price to pay. She should be held responsible for any actions that occur at her home~~especially illegal drinking and providing a venue for underage alcohol consumption!!!

Anonymous said...

the chief justice and burt should resign and be disbarred from practicing law in iowa. these kind of people have no place in public office,anonymous

Anonymous said...

Burt should resign immediately. I still have heard if the Chief Justice was even home. If she was she should quit. If she wasn't home I'll let her off the hook but she needs to give her hubby a good hard slap.

Anonymous said...

Burt should be removed from office ASAP, I learned from studying for my CDL conviction of OWI in my personal vehicle with BAC of .04 I would lose my CDL so why did the judge throw out the breath test? I don't care whether the chief justice was home or not she knows she has to live up to certain expectations and she and her husband have contributed to the delinquency of minors. You and I are held responsible what happens on our property.

Shane Vander Hart said...

Representative Burt's only honorable decision to do at this point is to resign. With Chief Justice Ternus, if she was there and had knowledge of this, then there is a problem, and due to the nature of her position it would be best to step down. We should be able to expect members of the Iowa Supreme Court of follow the law.

If she didn't know and her husband was just being an idiot, she shouldn't have to pay for his mistake.

I'm curious as to why the Ternus news a week to get out.

John said...

The only thing anyone really did wrong at the Ternus home was being loud. The drinking age should be 18 and I challenge the chief justice to say so. I can't tell you the number of public figures who have privately told me 21 is an unenforcable law.

Shandy said...

If the chief justice was home and knew about the illegal drinking I agree she should step down.

However, it sounds like someone might have been intentionally trying to get this family in the hot seat. The police say they got a noise complaint and from the video Channel 13 showed it looks like they live in a pretty rural area in Grimes. If a neighbor heard what was going on it must have been a heck of a party. I think it's more likely someone was tattling to cause trouble.

Anonymous said...

Burt needs to resign

Anonymous said...

I believe they both need to step down. The law is the law and they both have broken laws!

Anonymous said...

Justice? Where's the justice? If it happened to one of us, you'd be sure we'd definitely be screwed. Can 'em. Get rid of 'em, as well as any other crooked politician that thinks they can get away with this sort of thing, if we as Americans can't get away with it, I'll be damned if someone else just because they have a title will. Feed 'em to the lions.

Jeffrey7500 said...

Chet "isn't familiar with the [Ternus] case"? Huh? Where have you been, Chet? You're the governor, for heaven's sake. The next day, Chet should have demanded an explanation from her and given her three days to do it. If she gave no explanation, then he should have demanded her resignation. She definitely needs to step down as she, her lawyer husband, and minor son are unable to abide by the very laws she is hired to uphold. And Chet, quit making excuses for your incompetence.