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Assistant Clayton County Attorney Ry Meyer is leaving for a position in Dubuque County.

This 60th edition of “Justice For All” was written by Assistant Clayton County Attorney Ry Meyer. 

It has been my pleasure to serve you as Assistant Clayton County Attorney for the past two years. I am moving to a new position in the Dubuque County Attorney’s Office where I have been hired to prosecute sex crimes. Before I go, I would like to recognize the excellent people of Clayton County in general, and certain specific organizations and people. 

I’ve been privileged to work with our excellent law enforcement in Clayton County. Sheriff Mike Tschirgi and his deputies, dispatchers, and other staff are awesome. Our local police departments are great as well. I could fill a hundred “Justice For All” columns with true stories of situations our law enforcement agencies have brought to my attention. Some situations are very serious and involve dangerous crimes. Others are just strange events that result in a call to me. Whether serious or just strange, our law enforcement personnel reliably show patience, intelligence, and commitment to safety and justice. Occasionally they are genuinely risking their lives to keep the rest of us safe. For all of that, I thank them. 

Our advocacy organizations also do great work. Helping Services of Northeast Iowa, usually represented in Clayton County by Viktoria Stockman, has been crucial in serving survivors of domestic abuse assault. The Riverview Center, usually represented in Clayton County by Caitlin Vrotsos, has been crucial in serving survivors of sexual abuse. Abuse survivors are often hesitant to speak out because they are victims of intensely personal crimes, or they may be afraid of further abuse. Some feel guilty about acting as witnesses against abusers who are often family members. To the organizations and advocates who have assisted these people in coming forward: thank you so much for doing what you do!

I have met brave people, regular residents of Clayton County, who have been witnesses and victims of crime. I salute them, respect them, and thank them for participating in cases as witnesses. Being a witness can be tiring, boring, and terrifying. It’s a hard thing to do. The process is stressful. Cases take a long time resolve. Sometimes the defendant is a very dangerous person. I thank the people drawn into these cases. I am always eager to pursue justice in my assigned cases and I couldn’t do it without your participation.

I will miss the Clayton County folks I’ve met outside of work. This is a great community. The Elkader Farmers’ Market is always a joy—the vendors are the best, and so are the customers. If you’ve bought honey from me there, look me up this summer—my bees are still hanging in there! I’ll be coming up from Dubuque to visit, to stop in Ishman’s Jewelry to say “hi” to JoAnn, to stop in Schera’s to say “hi” to Brian and Frederique, and to chat with whichever other friends and neighbors I happen to see around town. 

Finally, I want to thank County Attorney Alan Heavens for giving me the opportunity to serve this community. Al is great. For those of you who read this column, you probably already know him as a person with a keen legal mind, a practical outlook, and good humor. He’s like that in real life, too, and he’s a great guy to work for, and to work with. He knows how to best handle all the serious, strange, and silly issues that inevitably pop up. I have done my best to assist him in pursuing justice here and to match his dedication. I’m confident he will choose a new assistant with a similar fighting spirit. Clayton County is in good hands.

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