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Supports Marquess for County Attorney

October 12, 2018
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Dear Editor,

Mike Marquess The Clear Choice for Public Safety

I recently heard the news that Mike Marquess is running for Tama County Attorney. That news takes me back to a time when I lived and worked in Toledo and came to know Mr. Marquess.

The time was early in 2006. I had just retired from a 40 year career with the Des Moines Police Department and was looking for a post retirement job. The Meskwaki Tribe was advertising for a Chief of Police to set up their first State certified police department. I had routinely commandedwatches (shifts) of 70 or more officers so I figured running a five officer department would be a piece of cake.

Boy was I surprised! I found myself busy with a heavy case load, administrative duties and politics. I knew any successful law enforcement strategy must include good working relationships with other law enforcement agencies, especially the local prosecutor.

A young attorney named Michael Marquess was hired and went to work as an assistant Tama County Attorney prosecuting our cases. Over the next two and one half years we worked together very closely and became allies in the effort to build relationships and bring criminal justice fairly and equally to all of the people of Tama County through coordinated law enforcement support. It wasn't long and officers from other departments and the Sheriff's Department were asking Mike to prosecute cases for them as well. They saw, like me, a tough prosecutor who wouldn't back down and fought hard for their victims. He was a leader who understood very well the importance of coordinated police efforts in the safety and protection of a community.

Mike spent many long hours working directly with all of the law enforcement officers of Tama County. Those long hours included riding along with them at all hours of the day and night. Those were hours spent lending his support to them, hours spent guiding them through complicated investigations and hours spent insuring that sound cases were built that resulted in convictions, not dismissals. It was a huge success. Arrests went up, crime went down and public confidence in law enforcement soared.

But in the end, I think, what impressed me the most about Mike was his sense of fairness and compassion for victims. I remember a case of sexual assault. A young school girl was the victim. In addition to the assault she had been threatened and intimidated by the perpetrator, a fellow student, and was afraid to go to school only to be confronted by him. Mike thought it not fair that she should be deprived of her right to attend classes at school and better the assailant be deprived under the circumstances. He sought and obtained a restraining order against the assailant prohibiting him from contact with the victim which allowed her to go back to school. He also spent many hours at the home of the victim counseling and comforting her family who, needless to say, were very distraught. It was unheard of at that time for a county attorney to go to the home of a crime victim to comfort them or lend support. I found out that was pretty much Mike's standard operating procedure.

The County Attorney is the top law enforcement officer in the county. While there are a lot of good attorneys around only a few really stand out above the rest. Mike Marquess is one of those who clearly stands out.

When it comes to their safety the people of Tama County deserve a county attorney that really stands out. The people of Tama County deserve the very best. The very best means more than just a prosecutor. The very best means a person who has earned the respect of the law enforcement community and the people alike.

It means a person who is willing to fight hard for victims especially for the underprivileged and disadvantaged. It means a person who knows how to bring to bear all the forces of law enforcement and the community to intimidate criminals, not the other way around.

It means a person who brings to the table the highest standards of ethics, morals, and professionalism.

I watched Mike Marquess bring all of that to the table as an Assistant Tama County Attorney. That's why I believe Mike Marquess is the clear choice for public safety in Tama County.

Roger W Sanders

Lieutenant (Retired)

Des Moines

Police Department

West Des Moines



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