Iowa deputies receive training from controversial lawyer

The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office attended training Friday with an attorney who compared the US Capitol police to Nazi SS troops while promoting the “constitutional sheriff” movement.

Sheriff Chad Sheehan’s decision to invite KrisAnne Hall, a Florida constitutional attorney, to train his deputies and speak to the public has caused controversy in the western county of Iowa.

Hall led a training session for sheriff’s staff on Friday, and she is scheduled to address the public Saturday at Western Iowa Tech Community College. A group called We the People for Constitutional Sheriffs is sponsoring the free public event, hosted by the sheriff.

Sheehan said no taxpayer money was involved in the training or the public event, though it’s unclear whether the county is paying regular hourly wages for deputies and others who attend the session. training.

According to Sheehan, Hall was the keynote speaker and trainer at last year’s Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association state conference, which he describes as an annual training session for law enforcement officials. laws across the state.

“She took a course that I attended that was about the history of the Constitution and understanding how the Constitution was formed,” Sheehan told the county board of supervisors during an early meeting. of the month.

Hall has repeatedly posted videos and statements on social media suggesting the federal government has no authority beyond that of the nation’s elected county sheriffs.

In Youtube videoHall and a colleague describe the government’s decisions to close businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic as illegal and describe this as an area where sheriffs could assert their authority by refusing to allow such closings.

In another video, Hall suggests that America is a “full-fledged Marxist” state that is determined to force people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “Because this is America, they have to feed you lies to keep you under their Marxist agenda,” she says.

In that same video, she questions the authority of the United States Capitol Police, which she compares to Nazi Germany’s SS, or Schutzstaffel, and the FBI to arrest and detain those involved in the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol if they travel outside the District of Columbia.

“These Capitol cops say, ‘Oh, we’re just helping the FBI,'” Hall says in the video. “The FBI has no jurisdiction in your state, county, or city…The sheriff can override the governor and kick the feds out of the county…The feds know they don’t have jurisdiction.” They know that. Otherwise they wouldn’t try to cheat your sheriff into mutual jurisdiction agreements by dangling trinkets and cash gifts to your sheriff… They put the capitol police in your town because you have no control over them and they will have no loyalty and no submission to you whatsoever. They will be blind enforcers, like the SS, simply carrying out the orders of the next tyrant who comes to power.

In 2010, Hall was fired from her job at the North Florida State Attorney’s Office after speaking at Tea Party rallies and to groups such as the 9/12 Project, an organization formed by the former right-wing commentator Glenn Beck.

According to a lawsuit filed by Hall, his boss asked him in an email to stop speaking to what he called “right-wing fringe groups” and also asked him to “dissociate himself from these people.” After refusing, she was fired. Hall’s lawsuit against his boss was settled out of court in 2011.

A promotional poster for Saturday’s event, which the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office posted on its website, reads: “Are you losing your liberties and liberties? Learn how to collect them! The poster describes Hall as a “military intelligence cryptologist linguist,” a Florida state attorney, a professor at River University, and a national speaker on constitutional issues.

Sheriff defends Hall’s recruitment

Hall and Sheehan could not be reached for comment this week, but the sheriff sent the Iowa Capital Dispatch a copy of a press release announcing Saturday’s event.

In the press release, Sheehan says he thinks “it’s important to have an informed public who knows their rights and felt this was the opportunity to do so.”

Addressing citizens at the meeting of county supervisors who questioned Hall’s involvement in law enforcement training, Sheehan said, “If you disagree (with Hall ), I will protect your right given to you in the first amendment to the Constitution, which is not given to you by the government but is given to you by God. And the Constitution says it cannot be violated. And I will protect – to death, if necessary – (your right) against anything she says that you disagree with.

Sheehan told supervisors, “The only reason I decided to bring KrisAnne Hall in is because after attending the (state association) meeting, she gave us a lot of encouragement to make sure we let us not lose sight of the fact that we are elected. , as law enforcement officials, to ensure that we protect everyone’s rights.

He said Hall was aligned with those who believe in a literal reading of the US Constitution, and added that he had “learned a lot” from his training.

“And so I was contacted by another sheriff who worked with this group,” he told supervisors. “And just so you know, that group is We the People for Constitutional Sheriffs – it’s not a national group. It’s just a group of people from eastern Iowa – maybe 10 or 15 people… They want to educate their fellow citizens about the Constitution.

A Woodbury County citizen, Linda Santi of Sioux City, filed a written request with the county seeking more information about the two events.

In a March 7 letter to Sheehan and other county officials, Santi asked who the money was used to pay for the events and whether it was channeled through the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office. She also asked for details of Friday’s training session and requested information on whether MPs and others in attendance are paid to do so.

She hasn’t received any responses yet.

“So far it’s just crickets,” Santi said. “I was just puzzled that the sheriff said, ‘No taxpayer money is used here,’ as if that was tantamount to saying, ‘Nothing to do here, folks. Moving forward.'”

In 2019, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that Hall had spoken to the Florida chapter of the League of the South, a neo-Confederate organization that the SPLC considers a hate group. The league said its “end goal is to establish an independent southern republic”, and its president, Michael Hill, was quoted as saying “the browning of America, and my native South, was not something I agreed with, and I certainly don’t approve of it.

Defending his decision to speak to the group, Hall told the SPLC that “our states are not fiefdoms subject to an indisputable despot.”

On her Facebook page, Hall calls herself the “true Patrick Henry of our time” and “a steadfast warrior in the battle for freedom.” She has been a guest on Newsmax, Fox News and InfoWars, the web program hosted by Alex Jones who was recently sued by the parents of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting for portraying the shooting as a false flag event.

Sheehan said he scheduled the public event with Hall on Saturday so citizens could hear what she would say during her deputies’ training session on Friday. He said the public event will also provide an “opportunity to educate the public about our rights, liberties and liberties”.

Iowa Capital Dispatch is part of States Newsroom, a network of news outlets supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Iowa Capital Dispatch maintains editorial independence. Contact Managing Editor Kathie Obradovich with questions: [email protected] Follow Iowa Capital Dispatch on Facebook and Twitter.

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Jon J. Epps