CLINTON — On Monday, the Clinton County Board of Supervisors approved a motion for the county to aid in litigating a Woodbury County lawsuit.

Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln explained that the Iowa State Association of Counties issued a request to member counties seeking funding in the amount of $150 to help pay for legal expenses in relation to a pending lawsuit.

Iowa Code 804.30 stipulates that people arrested for a scheduled violation or a simple misdemeanor shall not be subjected to a strip search unless there is probable cause to believe the person is concealing a weapon or contraband. According to the ISAC Web site, Maureen Rattray was arrested by Sioux City police in August 2006 and charged with operating while intoxicated. She was booked into the Woodbury County Jail and in accordance with the county jail’s search policy, Rattray was strip searched before she was placed in the Temporary Holding section of the Jail.

The site states that on Feb. 13, Rattray filed a federal lawsuit against Woodbury County alleging the search conducted pursuant to that policy violated her rights under the Fourth Amendment. She is seeking an award of damages and attorney fees. Recently, Rattray’s attorney filed a motion to have the lawsuit converted into a class action lawsuit. At issue is whether correctional officers must have individualized, reasonable suspicion before they can conduct a strip search in a county jail. Trial has been set for March 31, 2008.

In the letter to member county boards of supervisors, ISAC President Kim Painter said, “If Woodbury County loses, the strip search policies of many other Iowa counties would be subject to legal challenge.”

Lincoln said he felt the $150 would be a worthy donation toward the lawsuit against Woodbury County. The board unanimously approved a motion to send $150 to ISAC for defense of litigation in Woodbury County.

The funds will be used by Woodbury County to pay out-of-pocket expenses for expert witnesses and deposition costs.

Lincoln said later that Clinton County does not strip search everyone arrested for charges above a simple misdemeanor. He said those searched are only those who are believed to may be confiscating something and a report is generated in those cases.

Lincoln explained a resolution entering the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office into an agreement with the Clinton School District “for the purpose of providing after school safety and law enforcement education programs for the 21st Century Program.” He said the sheriff’s department is going to become involved in the program and will provide 100 hours of service in order to foster positive relationships between law enforcement officials and students. The service will include activities such as a mini-Crime Scene Investigation session, overnight camping opportunity, the Lights On Afterschool Program and school assembly talks featuring a county K-9 unit.

The board approved the resolution.

The board also approved a resolution entering the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, Clinton County Attorney’s Office and the Clinton County Community Supports Department into the Safe Schools and Community Interagency Agreement.

Later in the agenda, Lincoln discussed the recently approved purchase of a new inmate transport vehicle. He said the sheriff’s department would like to purchase options that were not ordered previously but since have been deemed necessary. The additions include a rear step, insulation and a digital video recorder and four cameras for the vehicle, three interior cameras and one exterior back-up camera. Lincoln said the cameras and recorder can be useful in the event of allegations of assault or improper contact. Board Chairwoman Jill Davisson said she felt the cameras are a great idea and could serve as a deterrent for inmate activity while in the vehicle.

The cost of the equipment, estimated at less than $9,000, will come from the room and board fund.