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PCM employee under investigation

Grave was arrested Wednesday for domestic abuse assault; has history of assault convictions

Friday evening, Prairie City-Monroe superintendent Jane Babcock and Monroe Police Chief Jeramy Pettyjohn issued a joint statement regarding an ongoing investigation of a PCM district employee.

"A personnel matter involving allegations of misconduct by a school employee, Ean Grave, came to the attention of school superintendent Jane Babcock and Police Chief Pettyjohn on Thursday, June 13,” the statement said. “Superintendent Babcock placed Mr. Grave on administrative leave, and both the district and the police chief commenced an investigation.”

Grave, 37, works as computer/IT technician with the district, and district records indicate he began working there during the 2010/11 school year. The current investigation by the school district and local police is connected to his arrest Wednesday on a charge of domestic abuse assault, a simple misdemeanor, as the result of an alleged incident Tuesday evening.

According to the criminal complaint in that case, Grave is alleged to have gotten into a heated argument Tuesday evening with Elisha Spriggs, 25, who he shares a home with in the 400 block of Prairie Drive in Monroe. Spriggs alleged in the complaint Graves grabbed her around the neck with both hands, choking her "for at least a minute or two," causing her to nearly pass out.

Spriggs said her cell phone had died, and she feared Grave would harm her further if she attempted to call police on a land line. She waited until Grave went to work Wednesday morning before she called police.

Pettyjohn's report stated he did not observe any marks on Spriggs' neck, but did observe "her neck was bothering her because of the way she was trying to turn her head." He said she stated her neck hurt badly, and that she would see a doctor.

The report stated Pettyjohn waited for Grave to return from work, at which time Pettyjohn asked Grave for his side of the story. Grave denied the allegations, but was arrested and taken to the Jasper County Jail, where he remains in custody.

A review of Iowa Courts Online indicates he had an initial appearance before Jasper County Magistrate Judge Jonathan Noble Thursday. A pretrial conference was scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 9.

“[T]he Police Department and district are working cooperatively on this matter,” the statement said. “While pending, the school district cannot comment on the matter. The superintendent expects this investigation to be concluded shortly and will, as permitted by law, provide additional public information."

Grave’s criminal history includes a 2004 conviction in Polk County District Court on two counts of assault while using or displaying a weapon and one count of domestic abuse assault with intent or while displaying a weapon. After pleading guilty to those charges, he was sentenced to two years in prison, of which 709 days were suspended, 21 days in jail, for which he was credited with 21 days served, and two years’ probation.

Entrance into a residential treatment facility also was ordered, if recommended by the Iowa Department of Corrections. It is not known if he entered such a program.

Aside from an assortment of traffic offenses, he also was convicted in 2010 in Polk County District Court on a charge of third-degree harassment, a simple misdemeanor. He was fined $65 for that offense.

He also was convicted in 2011 on a charge of second-degree theft, a Class D felony, in Dallas County District Court. As a result of a plea agreement, he was sentenced to five years in prison, all of which was suspended, and three years’ probation. He was fined $750, plus surcharges, and ordered to pay victim restitution of an indeterminate amount.

He was later found to be in contempt of court for an unspecified violation of the court’s orders in the disposition of the case. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail for the offense.

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