On Wednesday, Winnebago County Supervisor Mike Stensrud pled not guilty to charges of public intoxication and carrying a firearm while under the influence. The charges stem from a May 21st incident where Stensrud showed signs of possible intoxication during a supervisors meeting. Police were summoned to the courthouse to investigate and found Stensrud still in the Supervisors Room. Police conducted a routine breathalyzer test which showed a .09 blood alcohol intoxication level. A second test, done a short time later, revealed a blood alcohol level of .097. The state intoxication legal limit is .08 blood alcohol level. Officers checked a red disposable cup with a lid and straw on his desk. In the complaint filed in court, the cup smelled of alcohol. Stensrud can be seen on YouTube video, drinking from the same cup. All meetings are live streamed on YouTube.
Police also found a Smith and Wesson MP9 in his right front pocket. Stensrud has a permit to carry the gun. The Winnebago Courthouse permits the carrying of guns in certain locations within the facility. The courtroom and 3rd floor are off limits to weapons, except those carried by police and sheriff’s department officers. Signs clearly state the ban at the front door and on the third floor. The Supervisors Room is exempt from the ban which was put in place in 2016 by the Second Judicial District.
Stensrud may be fighting possible impeachment with his not guilty plea. Iowa Code 66.1A specifically states the premise for impeachment. The code reads “Any appointive or elective officer, except such as may be removed only by impeachment, holding any public office in the state or in any division or municipality thereof, may be removed from office by the district court for any of the following reasons:
1. For willful or habitual neglect or refusal to perform the duties of the office.
2. For willful misconduct or maladministration in office.
3. For corruption.
4. For extortion.
5. Upon conviction of a felony.
6. For intoxication, or upon conviction of being intoxicated.
7. Upon conviction of violating the provisions of chapter 68A”
Stensrud has asked for a jury trial in this case in order to prove that he is innocent of the charges. No trial date has been set. Stensrud’s’ term in office ends November of 2020 and he has publicly stated he will not run for his seat again.