Guttenberg police chief's actions questioned - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Guttenberg police chief's actions questioned

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Rumors and questions are swirling in Guttenberg after the police chief helped bail a friend out of jail.

In the small Mississippi River town of Guttenberg, news travels fast. That's why when police chief George Morteo paid $600 to bond his friend Shannon Davis out of jail, people started talking.

Guttenberg mayor Russ Loven said he's looking into the matter, consulting attorneys and the Guttenberg Police Department's policy and procedure manual.

"I'm just looking into it to make sure that we do the right thing," Loven said.

Clayton County attorney Al Heavens said there's nothing in the Iowa code that prohibits a police officer from posting bail and that chief Morteo, to Heavens' knowledge, did not do anything illegal.

Court documents show 28-year-old Davis turned herself in on July 2 after a warrant was issued for her arrest for charges of theft and forgery. Bond was set at $6,000, 10 percent of which was sufficient to bond out, the court decided. Morteo paid that $600.

In a phone conversation with KWWL, Davis said she's a single mom with her own mother in hospice care and that Morteo's act was one of kindness.

"He's a man of compassion," Loven said, along the same lines.

Davis claimed the theft and forgery charges stem from child support issues with an ex-boyfriend and father of one of her two children. She said she plans on pleading "not guilty" to the charges. Court documents show her preliminary hearing is set for July 30.

Asked if Morteo's actions compromised Guttenberg's safety, Loven replied, "The public's safety has not been jeopardized. I have complete confidence in George and our police department."

Chief Morteo was not the officer on duty Friday and attempts to reach him for comment were not successful.

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