KNOXVILLE — The former chair of the Libertarian Party of Iowa who stole more than $10,000 of the party’s funds was sentenced last week, then died four days later.

Judge Bradley McCall sentenced Michael James Conner Jr., 41, to a suspended prison sentence of 10 years and ordered Conner to pay $10,030 in restitution back to the party. He was also placed on probation for five years.

That sentence came on July 21, after Conner had pled guilty to one count of first-degree theft.

According to an obituary posted to the case record, Conner died on July 25 in Iowa City. A cause of death was not listed in the obituary.

Conner was charged in December with first-degree theft by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. They said that between August to October 2021, Conner used the party’s debit account for personal transactions totaling $10,037.

Conner became the chair of the party in August 2020. The party said he resigned in October 2021 as internal investigations by the party were ongoing.

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