Iowa judge fired for dismissing case due to unclear acronym

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's prisons agency has fired a judge after a ruling in which she dismissed sanctions against an inmate because the meaning of a two-letter acronym was unclear to her.

The firing of Administrative Law Judge Renee Sneitzer has prompted her to allege she suffered retaliation and discrimination and renewed questions about the independence of judges who work for the Department of Corrections.

In a July 12 ruling, Sneitzer rejected the department's request to take away "good time" from a work-release offender accused of rules violations. Sneitzer ruled that doing so would be unfair because the term "DH" in the staff disciplinary report was unclear.

Department general counsel Michael Savala told Sneitzer in a termination letter that the she ignored his directive to send such reports back to staff for clarification.