Things got a little hotter for Tom Wheeler, the former director of the Iowa Film Office, today. O. Kay Henderson reports an announcement that filmmaker Bruce Elgin has pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge and will cooperate with prosecutors -- presumably against Mr. Wheeler. Mr. Elgin had faced felony charges.
Mr. Wheeler faces charges of felony misconduct in office arising out of his administration of the Iowa Film Tax Credit program, which collapsed in scandal in 2009. Subsequent investigations have revealed systematic abuse and chaotic administration of the program, including funding of luxury cars for filmmakers.
While Mr. Wheeler seems to have been cast for the role of scapegoat in this production, the legislature that passed the ill-conceived program with only three dissenting votes faces no charges; nor does the former Governor who signed the program into law and appointed Mr. Wheeler to run it.
Mr. Wheeler's trial is scheduled to begin later this month.
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