Sign stirs controversy in Dubuque County courthouse - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sign stirs controversy in Dubuque County courthouse

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

An historic political sign in the Dubuque County courthouse has raised some questions.

The sign reads, "Vote the Straight Democratic Ticket" and used to hang in plain sight of the public in the Dubuque County treasurer's office.

The sign is from 1934 and joins other memorabilia in the treasurer's office, including old license plates and pictures of the courthouse.

County treasurer Eric Stierman, a Democrat, said a friend gave him the poster and that it was only ever meant to be an interesting decoration.

"I thought it was just kind of cool," he said. "You know, you work in the courthouse, and there's a history of the courthouse. Where I've got it hanging here, I've got a picture of the courthouse next to it."

He moved it out of public sight and into his private office. The move came after a call from the Board of Ethics in Des Moines, which a complaint prompted.

"They said that technically I wasn't doing anything wrong, but in the interest of spending their time more wisely doing other things, would you mind moving it?" Stierman said, who told the Board of Ethics, "'I don't have any problem moving it.'"

Assistant Dubuque county prosecuting attorney Chris Corken said Stierman's moving of the sign satisfies any concerns of ethics violations.

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