Watkins will proceed as Van Buren County Attorney
KEOSAUQUA, Iowa —
Abraham Watkins will proceed as Van Buren County Attorney.
He made the announcement during a press conference in Keosauqua Tuesday morning.
Watkins was reinstated by the Iowa Supreme Court in June, less than two years after he was removed from office for sexual and drunken misconduct. He apologized for his actions Tuesday.
“I definitely could’ve acted better,” Watkins said. “I make no excuse for my carelessness … this is a straight up apology, and I firmly resolve to not commit these errors again to my wife, to my family, my clients, to Jasmin Wallingford, to the citizens of Van Buren County, and to the Iowa legal community, I am sorry, and I vow not to repeat this harm to you.”
During a civil trial in 2016, Watkins told the court he had not consumed alcohol since Aug. of 2016. He maintains that statement is still true today.
“I would like to thank my wife, Renee, who has supported me in so many ways,” he said. “I’m eternally grateful for the ultimatum she gave me on Aug. 5, 2016. I have not consumed an alcoholic beverage since that date.”
When asked if he'll run for a second term in the fall, Watkins said he doesn't know if he will.
“When I signed up to do the county job, originally, it was a big commitment. I had planned on doing it for four years and beyond,” he said. “We’ll see how I feel in a couple weeks, maybe a month.”
Until then, Watkins will continue to work alongside the Van Buren County Board of Supervisors, which voted to have him removed in the first place. He said he has no resentment towards them.
“I have maintained a good relationship with them throughout entire process,” He said.
Watkins currently operates a private practice at his home on Main Street. He is yet decide whether he’ll continue his public duties at that that location, or if he’ll work out of the county office.
Acting Van Buren County Attorney Virginia Barchman submitted her resignation last week. Watkins said he will officially take over within the next month.
Jefferson County Attorney Tim Dille is handling Van Buren County's caseload until then.