DES MOINES, Iowa – Today, October 19, 2016, former Iowa State Patrol Trooper Lance Below (BAY-low) turned himself in to the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and made his initial appearance for charges of First Degree Theft, which were filed after an investigation into worker’s compensation payments.
Below has been charged with improperly receiving workers’ compensation benefits while working for the Iowa State Patrol, and simultaneously working at another job without notifying his employer or his workers’ compensation provider that he was being paid for a second job.
As a result of Below’s failure to report secondary employment, his workers’ compensation benefits continued to be paid, without offsetting the earnings of his second job. The criminal charges allege that Below was overpaid a total of $26,604.31.
The facts underlying the charge are detailed in the Complaint and Affidavit filed in Hardin County District Court, which can be found here.
The criminal case was investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and is being prosecuted by the Iowa Attorney General.
Theft in the 1st Degree is a Class C felony, according to Iowa Code § 714.2(1), and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.
Lance Below began working as a Peace Officer Candidate on February 25, 2005 with DPS, and held the titles of Trooper I and Trooper II, and was assigned to the Iowa State Patrol’s District 9 in Cedar Falls before his departure. He left employment with the Department as a Trooper II on September 16, 2015, with an annual salary of $62,753.60. Other personnel information would be confidential records, according to Iowa Code § 22.7(11).
Media Contact: Alex Murphy, Public Information Officer, Iowa Department of Public Safety, at (515) 443-3014 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ***FROM 4:00PM - 8:00PM, Wednesday, Oct., 19: Mitch Mortvedt, DCI Assistant Director, will handle media requests, as Alex will be in travel status and will resume at 8:00PM.*** Mitch Mortvedt, DCI Assistant Director, (402) 650-7458.
Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Complaint & Affidavit
DPS Policy: Alternate Duty
DPS Policy: Leaves of Absence 2011 DPS Policy: Leaves of Absence 2014
DPS Policy: Secondary Employment