The lone applicant for the Story County Attorney position — soon-to-be-vacated following the resignation of outgoing Jessica Reynolds — will present his case for his application when he goes before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
A discussion and potential decision by the board to appoint someone to fill Reynolds unexpired term is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday in the second floor Public Meeting Room at the Story County Administration Building in Nevada.
The applicant, Timothy Meals, has served as the first assistant attorney to Reynolds since November 2017.
“I’ve had the privilege getting to learn from (Reynolds), and having the support of my co-workers helped me put in my name to fill the position,” Meals said. “The priority of this job is protecting the public, and that always remains an important aspect of the Story County Attorney.”
While the position is a partisan position and the outgoing Reynolds is a Democrat — according to Director of Internal Operations and Human Resources Alissa Wignall, the application didn’t ask the applicant to specify their party affiliation.
“We didn’t ask for party affiliation, since the board can appoint whoever they find suitable for the position,” Wignall said.
“That will definitely matter when the position is on the ballot later this year, but for purposed of appointment, it wasn’t a question that was required.”
Meals’ journey to the Story County Attorney’s office is an unconventional route, working jobs in the former Bourns factory and Gateway Hotel in Ames before making the leap to become an attorney in his late 30s.
Meals took classes part-time at Des Moines Area Community College, before transitioning to full time at the age of 31 before earning a legal assistant associate’s degree in science.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Iowa State University before attending law school at Drake University
The unconventional journey led Meals to embark on a career as a criminal prosecutor for Story County.
“What I’ve really enjoyed about working in the Story County Attorney’s office is the team environment we have here,” he said. “The support that we all have for each other, including from our boss has helped me enjoy the work and cases I’ve been able to work on.”
Reynolds’ resignation is effective Feb. 7, and she is set to begin dual role as Iowa’s prosecuting attorneys training coordinator and executive director of the Iowa County Attorneys Association on Feb. 10.
“If I’m selected to fill the position, I want to continue the work the Jessica has done in this role and for the county,” Meals said. “We have taken major strides on alternative methods to incarceration with people involved with drugs. We’re excited about getting that program going.”
If Meals or anyone else is appointed, the position will be on the ballot box in 2020 instead of 2022.
“Hopefully, I’ll get appointed,” Meals said. “But ultimately, if I’m appointed, I just want to continue the work that’s been done outside and inside the attorney’s office.”