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Ex-Iowa Official Guilty in Marriage Equality Fraud Case

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Associated Press
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May 7, 2013

A former rural Iowa court official pleaded guilty Monday to forgery for filing false documents to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple from central Florida, in the first case of its kind in Iowa. Former Grundy County deputy clerk Brigitte Van Nice, 42, received a fine and a suspended sentence after entering the guilty pleas to perjury and forgery charges at the courthouse in Grundy Center, where she used to work. The resolution drew criticism from Joab Penney of Williston, Fla., who says Van Nice's actions duped him out of $150 and gave him an unending legal headache. Penney said he was outraged when court officials advised him Monday he should hire an attorney to petition to void his marriage license — which he said should have never been issued in the first place.