Price Lab case defendants want charges dismissed - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Price Lab case defendants want charges dismissed


BLACK HAWK CO. (KWWL) -- A heading was held Wednesday for those involved in a tuition investigation at the Malcolm Price Laboratory School in Cedar Falls.  At least nine parents are accused of tampering with records and falsifying addresses.  This lowered their children's tuition at the school. 

The purpose of the court proceeding Wednesday was to hear a motion to dismiss all charges.  Both the defense attorney and prosecutor, the Assistant Iowa Attorney General, presented arguments to the judge about some key factors in the case that could determine whether or not it moves ahead to trial.     

Four of the nine defendants facing charges for trying to avoid higher tuition at the Price Lab School listened in on Wednesday's court proceedings.  Defense attorneys argued two key points.  First, that as a public institution, Price Lab never should've been able to charge tuition in the first place.

"The state has claimed that our clients used addresses different from where they lived in order to gain admittance of their children to the school to avoid paying tuition.  And if it's illegal for schools to charge tuition, the basic premise of the case fails," the defense attorney said.

The defense also state that the parents received permission from Price Lab's then-director Dave Smith to submit incorrect addresses.  Even so, the Assistant Attorney General argues that's no excuse for what the defendants did.

"It'd be the same if there's a 10 mile per hour speed zone outside the school and Dave Smith says it's okay to speed.  You can do anything if Dave Smith says it's okay, according to the defense argument.  That flies in the face of common sense and certainly doesn't excuse the behavior of parents charged with tampering records in this case," said Scott Brown, Iowa Assistant Attorney General.

All of those arguments could be brought up again for consideration by a jury should the case make it to trial.  The judge will take all of it under advisement and is expected to rule on the motion to dismiss the case within the next few weeks.

Should the judge allow the case to proceed, the first five defendants are scheduled for trial in mid-January.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek


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