County attorney accused of being drunk in courtroom

A county attorney in southern Iowa who’s accused of being drunk in a courtroom has apologized and has asked voters to let her continue her work.

Clarke County court documents say 42-year-old Michelle Rivera is charged with public intoxication. A sheriff’s deputy says in a criminal complaint that he noticed Rivera “slurring her words and stumbling on her feet” in the Osceola courtroom last Thursday afternoon. He arrested her after she refused to take a breath test.

Rivera, a Democrat, is running for re-election against Republican Adam Ramsey on Nov. 6. She issued a statement in which she said she’s “taking every step necessary to get help, to fix this problem and to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.”

She apologized for what happened Thursday and said she hopes voters “will afford me the opportunity to continue this endeavor next term.”

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