Amanda Lassance

Amanda Lassance

Note to readers: Amanda Lassance, an assistant Jackson County prosecutor, was charged with possession of an open alcoholic beverage while operating a motor vehicle April 6. Then, six days later, in an unrelated accident, she was seriously injured in a head-on car crash and airlifted to an Iowa City hospital. Because the two incidents have no relationship with one another, the Herald-Leader is publishing each story separately.

An assistant Jackson County prosecutor was cited for possession of an open alcoholic beverage while operating a motor vehicle after a man identifying himself as her boyfriend called police to report a domestic assault, according to Jackson County dispatch records.

Amanda Lassance, a full-time assistant prosecutor in the Jackson County attorney’s office, and the man who identified himself as her boyfriend, Nick Shannon, were both charged with open container violations after police responded to Shannon’s complaint at 12:56 a.m. April 6.

According to the dispatcher’s call log, Shannon reported that Lassance had hit him in the face several times, thrown a cooler at him, and that his face was bleeding. He also reported, according to the log, that Lassance was sleeping in the back seat or pretending to be asleep.

According to the log, Shannon told the dispatcher that he and Lassance were north of Welton on U.S. Highway 61 near a sign for 140th Street, and that he had a beer in his hand while making the call.

Deputies from both Jackson and Clinton counties responded to the complaint.

Jackson County Sheriff Russ Kettmann said his department would not comment on the case even though one of his deputies, Chad Roeder, responded to the call. Kettmann said that because the call came from within Clinton County, it was out of Jackson County’s jurisdiction.

Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln was contacted Monday morning seeking additional information. Lincoln volunteered to relay a message to Deputy Andy Petersen, who had responded to the call.

When Petersen called the newspaper back, he said he was not authorized to comment about the case and would not discuss the exact location of Lassance’s vehicle or explain why the car was stopped along the highway.

When asked specifically if sobriety tests were administered at the scene, Petersen said, “I was told to let everyone know” only the general location of the incident and that it is under investigation

“It’s pending right now, and for administrative purposes, I shouldn’t comment right now,” he said.

Petersen referred all further questions to the Clinton County Attorney’s Office.

County Attorney Mike Wolf said he could not say whether additional charges were being filed against either Lassance or Shannon.

“The only thing I can talk about is what’s in the public record,” Wolf said.

The Sentinel-Press then attempted to reach Lincoln for further comment, but was told by a staff member at the sheriff’s office that the sheriff would not be available for questions the remainder of the day.

Jackson County Attorney Sara Davenport, Lassance’s supervisor, said Lassance told her about the open container citation immediately upon returning to work on Monday, April 8. Davenport would not say if Lassance would face disciplinary action, saying “any personnel matters are confidential.”

Davenport referred further questions to Wolf, whom she said “did not, I believe, find any evidence of an assault.”

Davenport also said the information on the call log might not be accurate. The log “is what the caller relayed to the officers; it’s not substantiated in fact.”

Lassance’s citation was scheduled to be heard in a Clinton County court April 16. The penalty for a first-time offender is $200 plus surcharges and court costs totaling $335.

Shannon did not respond to attempts for comment.

Lassance was unavailable for comment; she was hospitalized following a head-on car accident April 12.

Open Records Request

The Maquoketa Sentinel-Press last Thursday filed open-records requests with the sheriff’s departments of both Jackson and Clinton counties to get more information about the incident.

Sentinel-Press Publisher Trevis Mayfield, who also owns the Bellevue Herald-Leader, said the newspaper filed the information requests because a number of important questions about the incident have not yet been answered.