Charges against the former libertarian president | Local news
KNOXVILLE – Police have arrested the former chairman of the Iowa Libertarian Party on charges of theft.
Investigators say Michael James Conner Jr., 41, of Knoxville, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first degree theft, a Class C felony.
According to documents filed by police in court, Conner used a debit card connected to the party’s bank account for personal purchases and withdrawals totaling $ 10,037.
In October, the party reported that Conner had resigned as president and that internal investigations were underway. He became the party chairman in August 2020.
In November, the party said in a press release that it had reported evidence of unauthorized transactions it discovered during a review to authorities.
Investigators say the card was used from August 20, 2021 to October 17, 2021. Unauthorized transactions included several web streaming services, cash withdrawals at ATMs, and grocery and alcohol purchases.
Current party chairman Ed Wright has praised the Knoxville Police Department’s swift action in laying charges against Conner. “We are still in shock that someone whom we have chosen to lead our party could have betrayed the confidence of the LPIA and its members in such a blatant manner,” he said in a statement.
The Iowa Libertarian Party is recognized as the third largest political party in the state, behind the state’s Republican and Democratic parties.
Conner had previously run for Knoxville City Council in 2019, but was the weakest voter in a field of six candidates. He currently sits on the town’s planning and zoning commission.
Conner posted bail and was released. Online court records do not list a lawyer for Conner.
Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Oskaloosa Herald and the Ottumwa Courier. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.