Iowa Supreme Court contender was sued over unjustified case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa county agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit against its top prosecutor last month, days before he applied for a seat on the Iowa Supreme Court.

The payment settles a lawsuit filed against Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren over his two-year prosecution of West Liberty City Manager Chris Ward that an appeals court eventually found unjustified.

The settlement was reached last month before Ostergen, a Republican who has impressed the state’s political leaders, applied for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Daryl Hecht.

Ostergen and other candidates will interview with the judicial nominating commission next week.

In his federal lawsuit, Ward alleged Ostergren violated his rights by filing unsupported misconduct and fraud charges against him and took actions to interfere with his new job.

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