A federal grand jury in mid-Decmeber accused a former state narcotics officer of embezzling more than $89,000 from the state peace officers’ union. Rodney Alan Fox was indicted on charges that he embezzled $89,433 from the State Police Officer Council, using checks and credit cards for personal expenses. The council represents 600 state police officers, including troopers, park rangers and conservation officers. Fox is scheduled to appear in federal court in Des Moines Dec. 28. He plans to plead innocent, said his lawyer, F. Montgomery Brown.
Fox is accused of using a union credit card for personal purchases, writing union checks to pay off his personal credit card bill, spending union money on two unauthorized cell phones, and writing union checks to himself.
Fox’s lawyer, F. Montgomery Brown, said Fox will fight the charges. “He was a peace officer and is not an accountant,” Brown said. Heather Stubbe, the union’s executive director, said the union is cooperating with investigators. She said the investigation started when union board members noticed suspicious activity, but she declined to elaborate. Fox worked for the Iowa Department of Public Safety as a narcotics agent until he resigned Nov. 3, 2003, to take another job, Stubbe said. Fox served as secretary-treasurer for the union from January 1996 to October 2003.
Ed Wallace, a spokesman for the U.S. Attny. in Des Moines, said his office had received complaints from officers wondering why Fox hadn’t been prosecuted since leaving his state job in November 2003. “They need to know that he is being prosecuted,” Wallace said. [Des Moines Register, 12/17/04]