Sheriff’s deputies in Iowa erred when they did not investigate a neighboring county prosecutor for drunk driving after encountering her intoxicated in her car on the side of a highway late one night in 2019, a state investigation has concluded.
Critics have long questioned whether assistant Jackson County Attorney Amanda Lassance received special treatment in the incident, which began when her then-boyfriend called 911 to report she had hit him during the drive home from a night out and was now in a car parked along Highway 61.
But findings released Thursday by the Office of Ombudsman, a state agency that investigates complaints against government officials, found no indication that officers gave Lassance a pass because of her law enforcement job. Instead, the probe found Clinton County deputies should have conducted an OWI investigation but did not do so because of a misunderstanding of the law, driven by inexperience and inadequate training and supervision.
Responding deputies found Lassance, who routinely prosecutes OWI cases, domestic abuse and other crime, in the driver’s seat with blood-shot eyes, slurring her speech and empty beer cans strewn throughout her vehicle. Lassance said that she had been drinking beer — but claimed she started only after stopping her car along the highway.
Deputies never ordered her to conduct field sobriety tests or asked her to take a breathalyzer to determine her blood alcohol level. They also did not find any cause for a domestic violence arrest, saying they found no evidence her boyfriend was injured.
Originally Appeared Here