Archive for  December 19th 2018

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The Red Rose Spa at 4044 SE 14th St in Des Moines is just one of nearly 30 businesses in the metro that are listed on a questionable website we found. The website describes itself as a platform for providers offering body rubs and sensual massages to clients in major cities across the U.S.

“If you`re a licensed massage professional in our community, you need to have your license posted as you come in the front door,” said At-Large City Council Member Chris Coleman. “And, if we go in and there’s people working there that are not licensed that are performing any service that is covered under the state law, we`re gonna shut that business down.”

Cassie Sampson is the owner of East Village Spa, and she’s been very vocal on this issue.

“As a licensed massage therapist, since 2005, it is frustrating to see such an increase in these illegitimate businesses that are masquerading as massage practices,” said Sampson.

Without singling out any businesses in particular, Sampson says the illegitimate massage businesses confuse the public about what legitimate massage therapists do as health providers.

“I feel like the influx of these businesses in our community does make it less safe for my colleagues, my employees, for me to be practicing,” said Sampson. “Members of the public are just confused about what massage therapy means because they’re using these phrases when it’s not what they`re doing.”

Police say the new ordinance will give authorities the tools they need to enforce the law and shut down the illegitimate places.

“Knowing something and having the probable cause to make an arrest are two different things,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek. “So, we know, the neighbors know. It’s not hard to spot it, you know. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck, but you can’t just go arrest a duck for being a duck.”

DES MOINES, Iowa — In a three-pronged approach to ensure attorney standards are met, the Attorney Disciplinary Board, Grievance Commission and Iowa State Supreme Court investigate complaints when certain lawyers may not meet expectations.

“Those range from breaking the rules of attorney conduct as stated in Iowa court rules, to fraud, to deceit, to criminal conduct,” said Steve Davis, communications director of the Iowa Judicial Branch.

The borderline is not exactly known, but a Clarke County District Attorney may be toeing the line less than two months after being arrested for public intoxication in a Clarke County court room. Last Friday, Michelle Rivera was behind bars again.  “Criminal acts are one of the criteria of unethical behavior.  It’s one trigger that will start an investigation by the disciplinary board,” said Davis.

A Clarke County criminal complaint report says dispatch received a phone complaint 8 a.m. last Friday about an erratic driver who nearly struck them and ran a stop sign. Using the vehicle description, a sheriff`s deputy located Rivera’s vehicle parked in the county courthouse parking lot. The officer spoke to Rivera about the complaint and she admitted to drinking the night before.  The report stated she was concerned the alcohol may be still in her system.

Rivera performed a field sobriety test and the report says she showed clues of intoxication. The officer claimed they could smell the odor of an intoxicating beverage on her breath, but she refused to provide a breath sample.  She was then booked into the Clarke County Jail where she refused another breath test.

Rivera was charged with operating while under the influence, her first offense, and child endangerment, since she dropped her child off at daycare prior to driving to work.  If a disciplinary investigation is triggered, multiple or reoccurring offenses are considered. “The Iowa Supreme Court will issue an opinion and list reasons for disciplinary action.  Often times they’ll say this is the second time, or a third time and that may be a reason why the disciplinary action is more severe,” Davis said.

The Disciplinary Board and Grievance Commission will not publicly discuss if an attorney is under a pending disciplinary matter. Rivera is currently listed in good standing with an active license status. Davis said, “It doesn’t become public until they make a recommendation to the Iowa Supreme Court.”

Rivera has a preliminary hearing Thursday, Dec. 20 at 1:30 p.m. inside the Clarke County courthouse. Rivera, who lost her re-election bid in November to Republican Adam Ramsey, was unavailable for comment.