Attorney, facing criminal charges, agrees to license suspension

By: - August 30, 2023 10:46 am

A Marshall County attorney's license suspension comes in the wake of several arrests over the summer on charges of criminal mischief and harassment. (Photo via Canva; seal courtesy of the Iowa Judicial Branch)

A Marshall County attorney facing criminal charges has agreed to a suspension of her law license based on a disability.

The Iowa Supreme Court suspended the license of Jennifer Jo Frese, 42, this week for an undefined period.  The court’s order indicates that Frese consented to a recommendation from the court’s Attorney Disciplinary Board that her license be suspended “due to disability or incapacity preventing her from discharging the professional responsibilities associated with the practice of law.”

The court’s order does not indicate the nature of the disability.

In June, Frese was charged with 5th degree criminal mischief for allegedly uprooting flowers from a pot at an undisclosed office building in Marshalltown. She was also ticketed for trespassing.

On July 13, Frese was arrested and charged with the felony offense of second-degree criminal mischief. A police officer’s arrest report indicates that on July 11, an individual’s truck parked near a Marshalltown law office was vandalized.

The vehicle’s hood and windshield had been heavily damaged. Nearby, there was large, broken picture frame on the ground. Frese had recently moved her belongings out of the victim’s law office and one of the items she had taken with her was the picture frame, which had contained an attorney’s stamp collection, police allege. According to the police report, Frese admitted being near the law office sometime the morning of the incident.

Earlier this month, Frese was charged with third-degree harassment after being accused of sending several text messages and photos to an unidentified individual’s personal cell phone. According to police, the messages – which are not described in the police report – were “intended to cause the victim both annoyance and alarm.”

Frese has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Citing a conflict of interest due to each case involving attorneys and law firms with which his office has regular dealings, Marshall County Attorney Jordan Gaffney recently asked the court to appoint Grundy County Attorney Erika Allen as special prosecutor in all of the proceedings. A judge has agreed to that request.

Frese may file a petition with the Iowa Supreme Court to dissolve or modify the license-suspension order upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that her disability or incapacity has been removed and she is fully qualified to resume the practice of law.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing.