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Supports Heeren for County Attorney

October 14, 2018
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Letter to the Editor,

My name is Peter Mommer and I was the First Assistant County Attorney to Republican candidate, Brent Heeren, for the past two years. In light of the upcoming election for Tama County Attorney and the falsities being alleged by the Democrat, I feel it is my duty to set the record straight. After all, prior to deciding to run against Brent, the Democratic candidate tried to thrust his way into my position as Brent's assistant. I want to take a moment and tell the people of Tama County who Brent Heeren really is and why he is the right man for the job.

First, Brent and I worked together and aggressively prosecuted some of the most violent offenders in Tama County history. Brent is one of the hardest working attorneys I have ever met and his dedication to the people of Tama County is shown by his results. In 2017, Brent successfully prosecuted and convicted Tait Purk for the first-degree murder of Cora Okonski. This was a 16-year-old cold case with missing witnesses, faded memories, and no body. But this did not deter Brent. Instead, Brent worked day and night to seek justice for the victim's family.

In doing so, Brent successfully prosecuted one of the first bodiless murder cases in the State of Iowa. Despite the fact that the jury unanimously found Tait Purk guilty, District Court Judge Turner stole away the jury's guilty verdict. In doing so, the non-local judge took away the judgement, voice and rule of the people of Tama County. This was very upsetting to our democratic system and to the jurors themselves. How did Brent respond? Brent stood up for the people of Tama County and appealed the case. In 2018, Brent tried Tait Purk again and convicted Purk of murder for a second time. To accomplish this astonishing conviction, Brent tirelessly worked late hours, during weekends, and even during the holidays. This is a shining example of one of many reasons why the people of Tama County should keep Brent as County Attorney.

As Brent's Assistant County Attorney, we were an unstoppable force.

In just two years, Brent and I successfully convicted countless child sex offenders, murderers, drug traffickers, robbers, burglars, domestic abusers, thieves and drunk drivers, among countless other offenders. In 2018, Brent and I successfully convicted a defendant who repeatedly sexually abused his girlfriend's 8-year-old daughter while he was a registered sex offender. While the defendant was originally charged with 5 aggravated misdemeanors (each carrying a maximum of 2 years in jail), Brent and I were able to find an Iowa Code and amend the charge to 5 Class "C" felonies and enhance the defendant's sentence under the sexual predatory statute from 10 years up to 40 years in prison. By amending the charges and winning at trial, Brent and I were able to ensure that the defendant (59 years old at the time) would never have the chance to hurt another child in his lifetime. Brent has now teamed up with Assistant County Attorney, Mike Bandy, who brings a depth of both experience and trial skills that are unmatched by any Democratic candidate. Together, Brent and Mike create a trial team that is truly remarkable and one that will ensure the ongoing protection to the people of Tama County.

While there are countless war stories I could tell you about Brent Heeren taking bad guys off the streets, I want to express to you a side of him perhaps unknown to the general public. Being the Tama County Attorney is not all about laying down the hammer on adult offenders. It involves this, certainly, but the job also requires compassion and an understanding for the roots of criminal activity and where they stem from. Over his many years of service to Tama County, Brent has been seeking to reduce crime by addressing it where it starts in our community's youth. While I worked for him, Brent exclusively handled cases involving juvenile offenders. Over time, I came to realize that it was Brent's personal mission to help troubled youth find a different path, one that does not involve crime. In fact, I have met many of the young offenders who have gotten their lives back on track thanks to Brent and his efforts. I have, on several occasions, met with Tama County youths who told me how grateful they were for Brent and everything he did to shift their lives in the right direction.

Anyone who knows Brent will tell you that he cares deeply about his community and his role in protecting it. Brent has the skills, experience, work ethic, temperament, and moral compass that will guide and greatly benefit the citizens of Tama County. There is not a better person for this job.

The Democratic candidate, on the other hand, has very limited prosecution experience compared to Brent. And based on his social media posts, the Democratic candidate does not have the temperament or moral compass that would best serve the people of Tama County. Instead, he is a Democrat from Marshall County who is seeking to win an election in Tama County by launching a shameful smear campaign against one of Iowa's most well respected civil servants, a good man who has reacted to insults with positivity, a man who has dedicated the better part of his life to the service of others. And that is why you should re-elect Brent Heeren as County Attorney.

Peter Mommer

Former Assistant

Tama County Attorney

Boise, Idaho



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