The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
The former Mayor of La Harpe, Ryan Kienast, who was charged with public misconduct from an incident that alledgedly happened on his property in November of 2016, appeared in Hancock County Court this past Monday, June 12, in Carthage with his criminal attorney Scott Terry of Macomb.
According to the Hancock County Circuit Clerk's office, in court Kienast's Pre-trial date was continued to August 7th at 10:30 a.m. where Kienast and his attorney are to disclose if they are ready for trial. Kienast had demanded a Jury Trial to handle the misconduct charge which constitutes a class 3 felony.
If found guilty Kienast could face at least two years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines and it would have required him to be removed from public office. However, Kienast recently resigned as the city's mayor in a typed notice dated May 22, 2017, without disclosing his reasons.
The date his warrant was issued January 31st, Kienast posted $500 of a $5,000 bail, to avoid jail time. The charges accuse Kienast of having a city employee use the city equipment to move dirt on a property he owns.
At his March 7th preliminary hearing, a picture of the digging at his property and copy of the mayor's oath of office was submitted as evidence. It was noted Kienast had later issued a check to the City of La Harpe for $50 for "donation for digging hole".
Several La Harpe residents appeared in court this past Monday including all the Kienast immediate family and some extended family members and La Harpe residents.
Circuit Court Judge, the Honorable Rodney G. Clark gave Kienast's attorney until June 30th to type up the handwritten witness report that he had submitted, saying it was unreadable. It was reported that after court, the Hancock County States Attorney Jason Pohren implied that a plea bargain was in the works and Kienast had until June 30th to respond.