Iowa County Attorney Blames Victim, Won't Press Charges in Dakota Access Pipeline-for-Prostitute Scandal

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An attorney in Lee County, Iowa has decided not to press charges against a right-of-way contracting company working on behalf of Energy Transfer Partners, owner of the controversial proposed Dakota Access pipeline. The company, Contract Land Staff, had an employee who offered Lee County landowner Hughie Tweedy a couple of 19-year-old prostitutes in exchange for the right-of-way to use his land for the Dakota Access pipeline.

Dakota Access is slated to bring oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale diagonally across Iowa and into Patoka, Illinois. 

The 61-year-old Tweedy, who covertly recorded the Contract Land Staff employee making him the offer, actually ended up receiving the brunt of the criticism from Lee County attorney Mike Short in a statement provided to the Des Moines Register. Short accused him of setting up a sting operation. 

“There was not sufficient evidence to bring any type of charge,” Short told The Register. “To the extent that there was anybody soliciting, it was Hugh Tweedy who was soliciting.”

“Did either party leave this meeting at Papa’s Bar thinking that the action was going to be carried out? No. There were initial discussions only, and talk about the possibility that this could be done, and nobody took any action in furtherance.”

Originally under investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), DCI handed over its findings to Short’s office, which has in turn decided not to press charges.  

According to The Des Moines Register, the Iowa Utilities Board begins public hearings on Dakota Access on November 12, with a final decision anticipated sometime in December or early January.

Photo Credit: AVN Photo Lab | Shutterstock

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Steve Horn is the owner of the consultancy Horn Communications & Research Services, which provides public relations, content writing, and investigative research work products to a wide range of nonprofit and for-profit clients across the world. He is an investigative reporter on the climate beat for over a decade and former Research Fellow for DeSmog.

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