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Jill Dodds resigns from Coralville City Council following husband’s arrest for ‘a horrible crime he didn’t commit’


Jill Dodds resigns from the Coralville City Council on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

Coralville City Councilmember Jill Dodds resigned during Tuesday night’s council meeting, following what she called “false allegations” against her husband for “a horrible crime he didn’t commit.”

Jeffrey Dodds was arrested on April 18 by Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies on two counts of second-degree sexual abuse. The Dodds own and operate Simple Abundance Child Care in Coralville. He is alleged to have sexually abused a 4-year-old child who was in his care. Dodds was released from Johnson County Jail on April 19, after posting a $40,000 bond.

“The mayor’s called for my resignation and the mayor pro tem concurs,” Jill Dodds said during the council meeting prior to announcing her resignation, which took effect immediately.

Mayor Meghann Foster shared with the Press-Citizen an email she sent to Dodds last Friday, asking Dodds to submit a letter of resignation by Monday morning. That didn’t happen, and Foster told the Press-Citizen she didn’t know in advance that Dodds would resign at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I know my resignation will make things easier for them, eliminate any drama,” Dodds said. She added that she was disappointed that Foster and Mayor Pro Tem Mitch Gross “in their leadership roles … didn’t stand up for my freedom and my rights.”

Dodds’ resignation came after she listed “perspectives on life that I now have learned to be true,” beginning with “innocent until proven guilty is a myth. Guilt is assumed, and apparently spouses bear the assumption of guilt as well.” Other things she said she now knew to be true included “the press loves a scathing headline regardless of who it hurts” and “the world is made up of people filled with hate.”

Dodds went on to suggest the Sheriff’s Department needed “empathy training” and has behaved dishonestly its handling of her husband’s case, although she did not offer any specific examples.

“The arrest and jail experience is something I will be discussing with the proper authorities in the future,” she said.

Dodds had served on the Coralville City Council for a decade, and was elected to a third term in 2019 with 61 percent of the vote.

The city council will now have to decide how to fill the vacant seat. It can do so either by appointing someone to fill in for the remainder of the Dodd’s term, which runs through 2024, or hold a special election.

City Administrator Kelly Hayworth told Little Village that City Clerk Thor Johnson is researching whether that special election would be included in the already scheduled June 7 primary, or it would have to be held separately.

The last time the Coralville City Council had a mid-term vacancy was in 2019, when Tom Gill resigned after he called Black Lives Matter protesters “a bunch of criminals,” before adding he has “zero tolerance for BLM” and “will fight you to my living end.”

In that case, the city council chose to fill the term by holding a special election.

The Coralville City Council will take up the issue of how to fill its vacancy at its next meeting.


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