Deferred judgement granted ex-Meskwaki Police Chief
April 12, 2013
Chris Knouse, 46, Toledo, was granted a deferred judgement and placed on self-probation for one year by Judge Mitchell E. Turner in Tama County District Court in Toledo on Thursday, March 28. Knouse had been the Meskwaki Nation Tribal Police Chief but was “no longer employed by the tribe” according to Maurice Johnson, the Sac and Fox - Meskwaki Tribe Attorney General, when the charges first surfaced on Jan. 12, 2012. Knouse entered an Alford plea to a charge of non-felonious misconduct in office. The plea does not admit guilt by the defendant but recognizes there may be enough evidence to produce a conviction at trial. He was assessed a $315 civil penalty and to pay victim restitution if it is sought. According to court records, the charge stemmed from a failure to follow requirements for transfer of a firearm. Charges of unlawful transfer of a firearm and 5th degree theft filed in connection with the same incident were dismissed by Judge Turner as part of a plea agreement. Knouse was accused of “unlawfully and willfully transferring ownership of a pistol (to a person) who did not have an annual permit to acquire pistols or revolvers.” The theft charge stemmed from allegedly “misappropriating several firearms placed in his (Knouse’s) trust by use or disposal of in a manner inconsistent with the trust,” court documents state. The charges were originally filed by Ron Pexa, then-acting Meskwaki Tribal Police chief. The Tribe has had its own police force to patrol the Settlement located west of Tama and Toledo and near Montour since 2006. Prior to that time, the Tama County Sheriff’s Office was contracted to provide protection.
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