Lawyer’s son arrested during break in Branstad trial

This undated photo provided by the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Des Moines, Iowa, shows, James Barton Conlin. Conlin was arrested at the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday, June 10, 2019 and was charged with interference with official acts when he refused to leave a courtroom where he claims he was testing the air after his mother, civil rights lawyer Roxanne Conlin complained courthouse construction tainted the air and it made her sick. (Polk County Sheriff's Office via AP)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The son of an Iowa civil rights attorney in the midst of a high profile civil trial against a former governor has been arrested in the courtroom where his mother’s trial is taking place.

Polk County Sheriff records say 50-year-old James Barton Conlin, of West Des Moines, was arrested during break in the proceedings Monday and charged with interference with official acts. He was booked into the county jail and released within an hour.

The charge is a simple misdemeanor.

Conlin told courthouse officials he was testing the air after his mother complained it was making her ill.

Roxanne Conlin blames construction in the courthouse. Court officials refused her earlier request to move the trial.

Conlin and her son didn’t respond to a message from The Associated Press but she tells The Des Moines Register she’s furious he was arrested.

She’s representing former Iowa Worker’s Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey in his discrimination lawsuit against former Gov. Terry Branstad and the state.



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