Park Owner Wants to Change Guilty Plea in Wetland Dispute

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March 20, 2012 by   - () Leave a Comment

A Dubuque, Iowa, businesswoman is asking to withdraw her guilty plea to charges that she destroyed a wetland while developing a campground, The Associated Press reported.

Sixty-five-year-old Elaine Kelly pleaded guilty last week to one felony count of violating the Clean Water Act, taking responsibility for discharging pollutants into a wetland while building the Hoot Owl Hollow Campground and RV Park. She also learned she would likely face 8 to 14 months in prison at sentencing.

Cedar Rapids attorney Ray Scheetz filed paperwork Sunday saying he was now representing Kelly and that she wanted to withdraw her guilty plea, which had not yet been accepted by a federal judge. Kelly's family says she's the victim of overzealous federal regulators, and pleaded guilty to avoid the possibility of a longer prison term after an expensive trial.

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