State Rep. Burt charged; won’t seek reelection

State Representative Kerry Burt (D-Waterloo) has announced he won’t seek reelection after charges were filed against him in connection with a school tuition scandal in Cedar Falls.  Read the statement from the attorney general, followed by Burt’s statement:

Criminal Complaints Filed Relating to
Malcolm Price Lab School in Cedar Falls

Statement of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office:

            The State of Iowa filed nine criminal complaints and affidavits Wednesday in Black Hawk County District Court in Waterloo alleging that parents of Price Laboratory School students in Cedar Falls listed false addresses on school records to indicate their children lived in the Price Lab School zone when in fact the pupils lived elsewhere in Cedar Falls or Waterloo and not in the Price Lab School zone.

            The complaints and affidavits said students registered as living in the Price Lab School “residential or buffer zone” were charged much-lower fees than students who lived outside the zone. 

                  For example, the affidavits noted that students living in the zone were charged $526 for the 2007-8 school year, while students who lived outside the Lab School zone should have been charged “tuition-in” fees of $5,333 for the school year.  The affidavits noted the difference between what defendant parents should have paid and what they actually paid over the school years in question; the differences ranged from $9,754 to $47,701.

            The nine complaints and affidavits alleged one or more counts of tampering with records, an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of $625 to $6250.  The complaints focused on alleged falsification of school records for the 2007-8 school year.

            Defendants named in the complaints, the number of counts, and the additional amount they allegedly should have paid during years their children were at the Lab School are:

Angela Bigelow, 318 West 5th St., Cedar Falls, one count, $15,968.
Connie Bigelow, one count.  (Mother of Angela Bigelow; see note below.)
Kerry Burt, 150 Hawthorne St., Waterloo, two counts, $37,139.
Flora Dekock, 1207 W. 19th St., Cedar Falls (but previously outside the PLS zone), one count, $13,905.
Kristi Eastman, 1491 Newell St., Waterloo, three counts, $33,755.
Todd Eastman, 1491 Newell St., Waterloo, three counts, $33,755.
Angie Gilbert, 235 Denver St., Waterloo, three counts, $47,701.
Stephanie Hovey, 810 Catherine St., Cedar Falls (and a prior address outside the zone), one count, $9,754.
Cheryl Longnecker, 5408 Norse Drive, Cedar Falls, one count, $9,764.

            Defendants were charged with tampering with records who used false addresses on hard-copy school records as they registered a child for the 2007-8 school year (two counts for two children, etc.)

            Connie Bigelow is the mother of Angela Bigelow and is a former secretary at the Lab School.  According to the complaint, Connie admitted to telling Angela to record an incorrect address to allow Angela’s daughter to attend PLS without paying the higher “tuition-in” amount.

            When the complaints and affidavits were filed Wednesday, the defendants were issued a summons to appear April 22 at Black Hawk County District Court.

            A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

            The Iowa Attorney General’s Office is serving in the role of prosecutor in the matter, at the request of the Black Hawk County Attorney.

            The matter was investigated and continues to be investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).  The criminal complaints and affidavits were signed by DCI Special Agent Scott Green.


“In the last year, allegations have been made against my family and others concerning Price Lab School.  The charges filed by the Attorney General today will give me an opportunity to set the record straight and I look forward to my day in court.  I believe I am innocent and strongly believe my name will be vindicated once all of the relevant facts come to light.

However, given the timing of these matters it’s important that I focus my full attention on my family.  Although I will serve out the remaining months of my term as State Representative, I will not seek re-election to the Iowa House and I am ending my campaign effective today. 

It has been a great honor serving the people of Waterloo and I’m proud of my record expanding health care to more Iowans, creating jobs, and making sure our kids get a quality education. I am extremely grateful to the citizens of Waterloo for allowing me to serve and look forward to continuing my public service in the future.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.