Plea deal in works for ex-Armstrong policeman facing 85 charges

ARMSTRONG — Court documents show a former northwest Iowa policeman accused of stalking and assault is planning to plead guilty, but not to those charges.

Benjamin Scheevel once served in both the Estherville and Armstrong Police Departments. He faced 85 criminal charges, including perjury, stalking, non-felonious misconduct, ongoing criminal conduct, tax evasion, second degree theft and assault while displaying a dangerous weapon. The alleged crimes happened between January 2016 and April 2019.

Online court records show a petition was filed on Scheevel’s behalf that outlines a plea deal. It would have all but seven counts of unauthorized access or dissemination of data dismissed. Judge Carl Peterson has set a sentencing hearing in late November.

Scheevel is one of a handful of former officials in the small town of Armstrong who’ve been charged with a variety of crimes. Two former city clerks pleaded guilty after a special investigation released by the state auditor’s office in 2017 found Armstrong’s finances were “a tangled mess.”