Mahaska Co. Supervisor cleared of fraud charge

A judge has found a former Mahaska County supervisor not guilty of fraudulently adding his wife to the county's insurance plan in 2009.

Judge Dan Morrison issued the verdict Dec. 23 for Henry "Willie" VanWeelden following a bench trial in November.

VanWeelden was charged with first-degree theft, felonious conduct in office and tampering with documents. He was convicted of the charges in February 2012 but was later given a new trial after additional evidence was submitted.

VanWeelden told Auxient, the county's insurance fund administrator, that county board members were "in agreement" that VanWeelden's wife had been added to the insurance plan without the standard 12-month waiting period.

Morrison wrote VanWeelden had a reasonable belief that he had a right to the insurance for his wife.