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Documents show the Iowa attorney general's office has a large backlog of criminal appeal cases, and the agency has warned the state about staffing issues for years

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Documents show the Iowa attorney general's office has a large backlog of criminal appeal cases, and the agency has warned the state about staffing issues for years.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Eric Tabor described the conditions in a Jan. 7 letter to the Iowa Executive Council, which authorizes some expenses involving litigation. Tabor sought permission for the Iowa attorney general's office to hire three lawyers on a temporary basis to reduce the load. The office faces a backlog of about 100 criminal appeal cases.

The council later approved the request.

Tabor says an Iowa Supreme Court rule change in 2012 that required more filing of appeal briefs has added work to the office. Documents show the agency tried to alert the state in 2013.

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