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The husband of Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus will stand trial this week on a misdemeanor charge for disobeying a deputy sheriff’s order that he stay put while the officer investigated underage drinking on the family’s property. Dennis Drake, the chief justice’s husband and general counsel for the Iowa Health System chain of hospitals, failed last week to persuade Iowa state Judge Gregory Brandt that the “interference with official acts” charge under state law should be dropped. The trial is scheduled for Wednesday. Drake declined to comment. His lawyer, Timothy McCarthy II of West Des Moines-based McCarthy & Hamrock, didn’t return a call seeking comment. Ternus, who has been on the Iowa Supreme Court since 1993 and became the state’s first female chief justice when her colleagues selected her for the post in 2006, declined to comment through spokesman Steve Davis, who cited the state judicial code of conduct’s bar on judges speaking about pending cases. The case against Drake started on July 12 at about 1:30 am with a call to the Polk County sheriff by a Drake neighbor, who complained about noise from the family’s property, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputy Sheriff Michael Hake responded and found a group of minors, including the couple’s son, drinking beer. The group was gathered around a bonfire on the family’s 29-acre property, according to The Des Moines Register. When Hake asked Drake where the minors obtained the alcohol, Drake ordered the deputy off his property and said he was leaving despite the deputy’s instructions to remain on the scene, according to Judge Brandt’s Oct. 14 ruling. When Drake disobeyed, he was arrested. In arguing for a dismissal, McCarthy said that Drake didn’t actively interfere with the officer’s duties and that the officer lacked probable cause for the investigation, according to the Register. “Mr. Drake’s choice to ignore Deputy Hake’s reasonable and justified instruction to remain at the scene until the investigation was completed and walk away rises to the level of active opposition to lawful authority,” Judge Brandt said in his Oct. 14 ruling. In addition to disregarding the order, “a question also exists as to whether Mr. Drake was aiding and abetting the possession of alcohol by minors,” the judge wrote. Seven teens were charged with being intoxicated in public and underage possession of alcohol, including the younger Drake, the sheriff’s office said.

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