Adrian Dickey won't face criminal charges over car lien dispute

The Jefferson County attorney opted not to pursue any criminal charges against Republican State Senator Adrian Dickey after his daughter alleged he forged her signature on a car lien application and related documents.

Korynn Dickey filed a civil suit last month, asserting that her father had purchased a car for her in 2020, “no strings attached,” and later signed her name to a lien application, title application, and damage disclosure statement, all without her knowledge or consent. The lawsuit claims Adrian Dickey “made numerous false representations” when obtaining the lien on the vehicle, which constituted fraud, and characterized his actions as “forgery.”

Jefferson County Treasurer Mark Myers, a Democrat, is also a named defendant, since his office accepted the lien application even though plaintiffs claim he “knew or should have known that Adrian was not authorized to sign the documents on Korynn’s behalf and that the signatures were therefore forged.”

Jefferson County Attorney Chauncey Moulding, a Democrat, told Bleeding Heartland in an August 4 email that Myers initially brought the matter to his attention. After receiving additional information from Korynn’s attorney, “I reached out to criminal investigators with the Iowa Dept of Transportation, and this matter was jointly investigated by their office and mine.”

Moulding said it appeared “possible that someone other than Korynn Dickey signed her name on some documents provided to the Treasurer’s office.” But he said it was “unclear” whether Korynn gave her father permission to sign on her behalf. “Korynn states that she did not, but documentation was provided by Adrian which either directly or indirectly suggests otherwise.”

A July 31 court filing on behalf of Adrian Dickey asserts that Korynn “acquiesced or consented/gave her permission” to have her father sign her name on the car lien application. (She was a college student in California at the time of the purchase, but the vehicle was registered in Iowa, her legal residence.)

Moulding told Bleeding Heartland he “declined to file a criminal complaint in this matter, due primarily to the ambiguities in the evidence available to the State and the defenses available to the defendant.” He said he had informed Korynn’s attorney that “a civil cause of action was a more appropriate vehicle for Korynn’s claims, absent additional evidence or documentation.”

Siobhan Briley, who is representing Korynn Dickey and her co-plaintiffs (mother Shawna Husted and adoptive father Allen Husted), confirmed that Moulding “told me before we filed suit that he did not intend to pursue charges against Mr. Dickey.”

Moulding said no one from the Iowa Attorney General’s office or any agency other than the Iowa Department of Transportation was involved in the investigation.

Staff for the Iowa DOT did not respond to Bleeding Heartland’s inquiries about this case.

The plaintiffs have requested a jury trial. District Court Judge Lucy Gamon has scheduled a hearing on August 28 to consider Adrian Dickey’s motion to dismiss the case and Jefferson County’s motion to dismiss Myers as a defendant.

Unrelated to this litigation, Dickey was arrested in Sac County during last month’s RAGBRAI and charged with interference with official acts, a simple misdemeanor, after he refused a sheriff’s deputy’s request to move along a road being blocked by numerous bicyclists. He has denied the allegation, and his attorney characterized the interaction leading to his arrest as a “misunderstanding.”

Records available on Iowa Courts Online indicate that Dickey has a long history of traffic violations. He was cited for speeding twelve times between 1993 and 2019 and had three other traffic infractions during that period. Aside from the recent arrest in Sac County, the only non-traffic criminal charge shown on the Iowa Courts Online database was an open container violation (a simple misdemeanor) in Johnson County on the day of the Iowa Hawkeyes/Northwestern Wildcats football game in October 2011.

Dickey was first elected to the Iowa Senate in a 2021 special election and was re-elected to a full four-year term in 2022. He represents Senate district 44, covering all of Jefferson, Keokuk, and Van Buren counties, and parts of Mahaska and Henry counties.

UPDATE: On August 28, Jefferson County District Court Judge Shawn Showers ruled on Myers’ motion to dismiss the claims against him. The judge found,

Based on the very low bar Plaintiffs are required to clear to survive a Motion to Dismiss, the Court denies Defendant Myers’ request with respect to Count I, Failure to Perfect a Security Interest.

Plaintiffs’ counsel rightfully identifies that there was not a signature on the Affidavit for Notation of Security Interest. A reasonable fact finder could conclude that Defendant Adrian Dickey signed Plaintiff Korynn Dickey’s name to the document and that a cause of action could be supported against Mr. Myers if every assertion Plaintiffs’ Count I allegation is true.

However, with respect to Count 3, civil conspiracy, the Court finds that the petition does not contain factual allegations that give the defendant (Myers) fair notice of the claim asserted so he can adequately respond to the petition. Count III as is relates to Defendant Myers is dismissed without prejudice with any court costs assessed to Plaintiffs.

A hearing is scheduled for September 18 on the plaintiffs’ motion to change venue, so that the case will not be tried in Jefferson County (where Adrian Dickey and Myers are both elected officials).

Top image cropped from an exhibit in Korynn Dickey’s lawsuit against Adrian Dickey.

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