Davenport Civil Rights Director Latrice Lacey was sentenced Friday to probation and a fine, adding another chapter to the controversies swirling around the city's embattled commission.
Lacey was found guilty of what a news release from the Scott County Attorney's office called a "the serious misdemeanor crime of harassment second degree" in Sept. 2019.
Judge Stuart Werling sentenced Lacey to one year in jail, as well as a fine of $315 and court costs. The jail sentence was suspended and Lacey was placed on probation for one year.
Lacey was accused of assaulting a man with a sledgehammer in late April 2018, prompting the charge of one count of second-degree harassment.
Though found guilty of that charge last September, a jury of nine women and three men could not reach a unanimous verdict on three counts of domestic abuse assault, all misdemeanors, prompting Werling to declare a mistrial on those counts.
The Scott County Attorney office's news release said Lacey will face another trial, scheduled for March 30, 2020, to face "... the remaining charges (of) domestic assault with a dangerous weapon, domestic assault with intent to inflict serious injury, and domestic assault causing bodily injury."
Those were the charges jurors could not reach a verdict on back in Sept. 2019.
During that trial, prosecutors argued Lacey went to McDonnell Property Management, then known as McDonnell & Associates, on Pershing Avenue in Davenport the morning of April 30, 2018, to confront a man she believed had damaged her property and the property of her boyfriend.
Lacey and the man had previously been in an intimate relationship and lived together off and on for years.
Prosecutors said Lacey was the aggressor during the confrontation and swung at the man, kneed him in the groin, and hit him with the two-pound hammer.
Defense attorney Murray Bell argued the man was a jealous ex-lover upset Lacey was dating a white man. He became increasingly upset when she stopped responding to his requests to talk, Bell said.
Since November 2018, the Civil Rights Commission, which Lacey oversees, has been unable to seat a quorum over a disagreement about who is a rightful member.
These arguments stem from when outgoing Mayor Frank Klipsch replaced three members, and when that decision was contentious, replaced four more who agreed with the ousted three. When four terms expired in November, the mayor reappointed one and named three new appointees, all of whom were approved by Council. Some of the ousted board members contend Klipsch's actions were illegal and done as retribution against Lacey, who does not report to the mayor, but to the Civil Rights Commission.
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