Official Arrested for Same-Sex Marriage Forgery
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
announced Thursday that agents arrested Grundy
County Deputy Clerk of Court Brigitte Van Nice
on charges she allegedly forged signatures on an
Iowa marriage certificate she filed in Grundy
County on Feb 15 2012.
According to court documents,
Van Nice filed a marriage certificate on
February 15, 2012 with the Grundy County
Recorder's Office which attested to Van Nice
having performed a marriage ceremony for two
Florida men who wanted to be married. At the
time she filed the marriage certificate she told
the County Recorder staff that she had performed
the marriage of Joab Penney and Joseph Parker at
a local truck stop in Waterloo the day before
and Penney and Parker had arranged for the
witnesses. She was paid $150 for her services.
Authorities say the marriage
ceremony attested to by Van Nice did not take
place and the two witnesses she listed did not
sign the document, but were forged by Van Nice
without their permission.
The investigation revealed
that Van Nice received her ordination in June
2011 from an online ordination website described
as Open Ministry.com. Investigators allege Van
Nice began corresponding with Penny and Parker
in the later part of December 2011 about the
possibility of attaining an Iowa marriage
certificate if they were unable to come to Iowa.
Van Nice was booked into the
Grundy County jail at on Wednesday and was
quickly released after posting bond. She was
given an initial appearance date of October 22,
In an effort to avoid any perceived conflict of
interest, the Grundy County Attorney’s Office
referred the case to the Marshall County
Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
In addition to the two felony
forgery charges, Van Nice is also facing charges
of felony perjury for falsely attesting to a
Upon her arrest the 42 year old Deputy Clerk of
Court was placed on paid administrative leave
from the Grundy County Clerk’s Office.
Complaint and Affidavit filed in Iowa
District Court for Grundy County
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