Fagan pleads not guilty to #ialegis assault

Joe Fagan Pleads Not Guilty To Assaulting Rep Greg Forristall 


Motion to Dismiss hearing set for May 6 at 9am


Nearly forty members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund (CCI Action Fund) looked on at the Polk County Courthouse today as Iowa CCI founding director and former priest Joe Fagan, 73, pled not guilty to simple misdemeanor assault charges stemming from a confrontation with House Labor Committee Chair, Representative Greg Forristall (R-Macedonia), during an Iowa CCI Action Fund “Worker Justice” Rally and Lobby Day on March 11.

“I am here today to stand in solidarity with Joe. I believe Rep. Forristall is using these accusations to take attention away from the real issue—which is that Forristall refuses to protect Iowa workers from wage theft and exploitation,” said Vern Tigges, a member of CCI Action from Adel.

Fagan, represented by legal counsel Joseph Glazebrook, entered a plea of not guilty and a Motion to Dismiss hearing was scheduled for May 6 at 9am.  If the charges are not dismissed May 6, then Fagan will likely go to jury trial beginning June 2. 

Last week CCI Action Fund members released video footage from the March 11 Worker Justice Lobby Day showing chanting members approaching Forristall and attempting to engage him in conversation until he exits a side door at the Iowa State Capitol. The video, which can be seen at http://youtu.be/zW-XOwraU4k, clearly shows Fagan avoiding physical contact with Forristall and proves that Fagan did not assault the representative.

Following today’s hearing, CCI Action members vow to continue challenging the accusations against Fagan.

“We call on the state to dismiss their case against Joe Fagan. Video evidence clearly shows that Joe did not assault Rep. Forristall,” said Ana Mancebo, a latino community organizer for Iowa CCI Action.   “In addition, we demand Rep. Forristall issue a public apology to Joe and to CCI Action for the false accusations against Joe and for mischaracterizing our organization.”

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