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Sunday, April 17, 2011

[IA] Ex-Davenport Detective/Alderman Van Fossen gets an adjusted year in jail for dv-related federal gun charge

A federal judge sentenced former Davenport alderman and police officer Ronald Van Fossen to one year and a day in prison Thursday on gun charges... Van Fossen, a former police detective, was charged with drunk driving in February 2006, after he drove his car around a railroad gate in December 2005 and was struck by a train... He retired from the Davenport Police Department after suffering a heart attack... He also was a Scott County sheriff’s deputy and a Davenport firefighter...

"As a former police officer, I have lived by a creed that demands doing the right thing..."

Associated Press
April 16, 2011
[Excerpts] Former Davenport alderman Ronald Van Fossen has been sentenced to more than one year in prison after pleading guilty to a federal gun charge. The U.S. attorney's office says the 63-year-old Van Fossen was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Davenport to possession of a firearm after conviction for domestic violence. He pleaded guilty to domestic violence in 2007. In 2010, Davenport police responded to a hit-and-run accident... Van Fossen, a former police officer, reported the truck as stolen... Prosecutors also say he admitted that a revolver found in the truck belonged to him. [Full article here]

The Quad-City Times.
Brian Wellner
Friday, April 15, 2011
[Excerpts] A federal judge sentenced former Davenport alderman and police officer Ronald Van Fossen to one year and a day in prison Thursday on gun charges. “I’m dealing with the stigma of being the first in my family who’s ever been arrested or gone through bankruptcy,” Van Fossen told U.S. District Judge James E. Gritzner. Van Fossen, 67, had a .38-caliber pistol on Aug. 15, according to court records. He is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a past domestic violence conviction. He said most of his problems stem from gambling and alcohol. His attorney, Dave Treimer, pleaded for probation. Even former Scott County Attorney Bill Davis, who sat in on the sentencing, wrote in a letter that Van Fossen “needs no further punishment.” But federal prosecutor Rich Westphal said Van Fossen’s criminal history over the past five years connected to his drinking alcohol makes him a danger to the community. “Mr. Van Fossen has been through every other state court remedy besides prison,” Westphal said. “None of these remedies worked to stop him.” Given credit for time served and other factors, Treimer said Van Fossen may serve 5 1/2 to six months in prison before being released to a halfway house. His family declined to comment following the sentencing... He admitted to evidence Thursday that he was the fleeing driver in a hit-and-run accident the day before police found his pickup with the gun inside. He was never charged in the accident. Gritzner said Van Fossen engaged in “deception” with law enforcement by making a false police report that his pickup had been stolen around the time of the accident... [Full article here]


The Gazette
February 1, 1992
[Excerpts] Sgt. Steve Lynn was named chief of the Davenport Police Department on Friday... The other finalists were Capt. James Van Fossen and Sgt. Paul Fredenburg.

[His brother and nephew]
The Gazette (Cedar Rapids-Iowa City)
November 8, 2002
[Excerpts] Jim Van Fossen and his son, Jamie, both won seats Tuesday in the State House - the first father-son team in recent memory...

The Quad-City Times
By Tom Sau
Friday, December 23, 2005
[Excerpts] Whatever the outcome of an investigation into his arrest following a traffic accident, Davenport Alderman-elect Ron Van Fossen will “take responsibility for my actions and will take whatever corrective measures are required,” he said in a statement e-mailed to news media and concerned citizens Thursday... Van Fossen, a retired Davenport police detective — who was elected as the city’s 1st Ward alderman in November and will take office Jan. 3 — was cited for driving around a railroad barricade at Wapello Avenue and Rockingham Road. His vehicle was struck by a slow-moving train and he suffered minor injuries... Van Fossen could not be reached Thursday for comment by the Quad-City Times. However, in the statement, he said that “as a former police officer, I have lived by a creed that demands doing the right thing and I will continue to live and act that way in regards to this incident and in my future service on the Davenport City Council. I intend to fully cooperate with the various entities involved in the investigation of this incident and will take full responsibility for any wrongdoing on my part.” Earlier this year, outgoing Davenport Alderman Bob McGivern, 6th Ward, was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated following his Sept. 30 arrested by Bettendorf police. Officers allegedly found a plastic cup of whiskey in his vehicle while he was parked at the drive-up window of a restaurant... He has pleaded innocent to the charge. A court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11... [Full article here]

The Quad-City Times
By Tory Brecht and Ann McGlynn
February 14, 2007
[Excerpts] Davenport Alderman Ron Van Fossen, 1st Ward, spent Tuesday night in the Scott County Jail after he allegedly violated a court-enforced order of protection that was filed against him after an altercation with his estranged wife. It was the second time in as many days that Van Fossen, 63, found himself being arrested by officers from the department he once served... The incident that landed him in jail Monday involves allegations that he struck his estranged wife. Van Fossen said he did not enter his wife’s home, did not assault her and vows to finish out his first term in the 1st Ward after he’s vindicated in court. He pleaded innocent Tuesday to domestic assault. “My approach is I haven’t done anything,” he said in a telephone interview shortly after being released... He was arrested Monday night, accused of forcing his way into his estranged wife’s home, shoving her and causing her to strike her head on a refrigerator. On Tuesday, he said the incident was a fabrication concocted by his soon-to-be ex-wife, her daughter and the daughter’s boyfriend... Debra has a much different version. After leaving the bar, she was home cooking with her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend when “all of a sudden, someone was trying to break down the door, pounding so hard that the glass was going to break,” she said. She went to the door and saw Ron. When she asked him what he wanted, she said he grabbed her car keys off a counter and put them in his pocket. "I went to grab the keys. I asked him ‘What do you want?’ In the meanest words I’ve ever heard, he said, ‘You,’" she said. According to Debra, she then told him to get out. “That’s when he pushed me into the refrigerator,” she said. “Then he walked out the door.” Debra said she suffered a head injury that required treatment... [Full article here]

The Quad-City Times
By Tory Brecht
February 14, 2007
[Excerpts] ... Van Fossen was arrested Monday and charged with simple domestic assault. He was arrested again Tuesday on a charge of violating an order of protection.... The ethics policy states that “members shall comply with the laws of the nation, the State of Iowa, and the City of Davenport in the performance of their public duties.” In addition, it states “the professional and personal conduct of members must be above reproach and avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Members shall refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks upon the character or motives of other members, the staff or public.” Whether any of these standards apply in Van Fossen’s case is unclear... [Full article here]

Regional Roundup
The Gazette
February 17, 2006
[Excerpts] Davenport 1st Ward Alderman Ron Van Fossen has been charged with drunken driving in connection with a train accident Dec. 20.
The charge against Van Fossen, a retired police detective, was entered earlier this week in Scott County District Court... Van Fossen initially was cited by Davenport police for illegally going around a gate at a railroad crossing, where a slow-moving train struck his vehicle...

Chris Minor Reports
Apr 4, 2007
[Excerpts] Davenport councilman Ron VanFossen attended his first city council meeting Wednesday night since returning from a 28 stay at alcohol rehab... The retired Davenport police officer says his recent arrests for assault and then violating an order of protection against his soon-to-be ex wife, were all alcohol-induced... But VanFossen denied any wrongdoing in a pending sexual harrassment suit filed against him by a female worker at City Hall... VanFossen says his trouble and behavior are not reasons to step down from the city council... [Full article here]

The Quad-City Times.
April 11, 2007
By Brian Krans
[Excerpts] A Scott County judge sentenced Davenport 1st Ward Ald. Ron Van Fossen to seven days in jail this afternoon for violating a no-contact order against his estranged wife. Mr. Van Fossen, 63, will serve out his sentence in the Scott County Jail, where he previously was held when his wife brought the order against the former police detective in February. In December, Davenport police were called to the home of Ald. Van Fossen's estranged wife... No arrests were made, but in February, Ald. Van Fossen was arrested and charged with violating a protection order... Debra Van Fossen said he had forced his way into her home and shoved her. The next day, Ald. Van Fossen was arrested again after he showed up at a Davenport tavern where Mrs. Van Fossen was, in violation of the protection order... Ald. Van Fossen, a former police detective, was charged with drunk driving in February 2006, after he drove his car around a railroad gate in December 2005 and was struck by a train, according to police reports. He received a deferred judgment in May 2006... Other things plaguing Ald. Van Fossen's first term since elected included accusations from the city council administrative assistant that the alderman sexually harassed her for months... He has previously said he won't resign from his position... [Full article here]

Quad-Cities Online, IL
Apr 13, 2007
[Excerpts] Davenport Ald. Ron Van Fossen pleaded guilty Friday to abusing his estranged wife... In the same afternoon, a citizen's petition seeking his removal as the 1st Ward alderman was received at Davenport City Hall. The petition asks for his removal because of behavior "unbecoming an elected official"... Scott County District Court Judge James Kelley sentenced the 63-year-old first-term, 1st Ward alderman to 20 days in jail, with all but two days suspended. He is already serving a seven-day sentence for violating an order of protection... Judge Kelley announced the decision -- Mr. Van Fossen would plead guilty to simple domestic abuse, serve two days concurrently with the weeklong sentence he was already serving and be on unsupervised probation for one year. He also must complete Domestic Violence Batterers Education... Tuesday, Mr. Van Fossen was senteced to 180 days, with all but seven suspended, after trial on violating the no-contact orde... [Full article here]

The Quad-City Times.
By Brian Krans,
May 16, 2007
[Excerpts] Ald. Ron Van Fossen, 1st Ward, could face more action from the courts related to a protective order filed by his estranged wife... She originally filed the protection order in February, but it didn't address firearms. When she renewed the order in April, it did... In April, he served a week-long sentence for violating the order... The latest accusations stem from an affidavit Ald. Van Fossen, a former Davenport police detective, submitted to the court. In it, he details transferring ownership of several firearms in February to his brother, former Iowa State Rep. Jim Van Fossen; his son, Jason Van Fossen; and his neighbor, Michael Ryan... The key to whether Ald. Van Fossen was in contempt of court was whether he gave the guns away or asked the recipients to hold the weapons for him... [Full article here]

The Quad-City Times.
Kurt Allemeier
August 21, 2010
[Excerpts] A former Davenport alderman [Ronald Van Fossen] who served a troubled tenure on the city council has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm... [Full article here]

The Quad-City Times.
Brian Wellner
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
[Excerpts] Former Davenport alderman Ronald Van Fossen is charged in federal court with unlawfully possessing firearms. Van Fossen, 67, had a .38-caliber pistol on Aug. 15 and a shotgun on Aug. 20... He is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a past domestic violence conviction. He is charged with two counts of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, records state. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in priso... [Full article here]

The Quad-City Times.
Brian Wellner
December 9, 2010
[Excerpts] Former Davenport alderman Ronald Van Fossen faces 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty Thursday to gun charges. Van Fossen, 66, admitted to possessing a .38-caliber pistol in August even though he was not allowed to because of a prior domestic violence conviction in Scott County... The gun was found in its holster, loaded with five hollow-point rounds... Van Fossen requested the pistol be returned and was denied... Van Fossen also was unlawfully in possession of a shotgun. But a second count of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm was dropped at his Thursday plea hearing... He retired from the Davenport Police Department after suffering a heart attack... He also was a Scott County sheriff’s deputy and a Davenport firefighter. Van Fossen served one term on the city council, from 2006-08, marred by arrests for domestic abuse, a stint in alcohol rehabilitation and a sexual harassment lawsuit by a city employee that resulted in a $92,000 settlement... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal alcohol repeat hx iowa state politics]

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