August 13, 2018

A woman alleges that a former Carroll police officer arrested her after improper traffic stops in 2015 and 2016, and that her attorneys advised her to plead guilty to several criminal charges because a judge would decide that the officer was more credible.

However, former Officer Jacob Smith is not credible, according to the county’s top prosecutor, and a judge has already dismissed the OWI conviction of another person Smith arrested.

Natasha Ann Daniel, 22, of Carroll, is challenging her convictions for OWI, driving with a revoked license and contempt of court and her deferred judgment for drug possession because of Smith’s “questionable credibility,” court records show.

Smith was forced to resign from the Carroll Police Department last year because he had a sexual relationship with a high school girl who lived with him and lied about the relationship to his superiors, court records show.

Smith, 27, sued the Daily Times Herald for libel for an article it published about the circumstances that led to his resignation in Carroll and his termination from his first police job in Sumner. A judge dismissed the lawsuit in May because the article was accurate.

Daniel is relying on transcripts of under-oath depositions from that lawsuit of Smith, Police Chief Brad Burke, Sgt. Jeremiah Hoyt, and City Manager Mike Pogge-Weaver that detail Smith’s malfeasance as an officer.

Myles Collins Johnson, 37, of Carroll, relied on the same documents to challenge his 2017 OWI conviction. A judge overturned the conviction last month and dismissed the case.

“This office does not believe that Officer Smith has credibility,” County Attorney John Werden said at a court hearing for Johnson in July. “The state of Iowa refuses to call Officer Smith to testify in this or in any other matter.”

Werden has been reviewing Smith’s arrests and notifying local attorneys of questionable cases.

Smith arrested Daniel in November 2015 for possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a prescription drug after he stopped her for speeding. Daniel denies that she was speeding. She received a deferred judgment and was fined $1,700.

He arrested her again in September 2016 for OWI, claiming that she was driving erratically, which Daniel also denies. She pleaded guilty and was punished with two days in jail and about $2,000 of fines.

The next month Smith arrested her again for driving with a revoked license. She was again fined for about $2,100.

Daniel alleges Smith repeatedly stopped her vehicle after the OWI arrest, most often when she wasn’t driving it.

He recently tried to add her as a friend on Facebook, court records show.