10/23/2020 1:30:00 PM Former sheriff plea entered, sentencing in December
In March of 2018 the Chisago County Human Resources Director received a complaint that the county sheriff was engaged in harassing behavior and acting in bad faith with a sheriff’s department female staff member. The distraught staffer was receiving written instructions to attend an out of town conference and book a room with one bed in order to stay overnight with the sheriff. Subsequent written instructions received included the possibility of dire consequences to the employee’s family if she told anybody about the harassments or if she failed to follow through.
She reported the situation and on May 4, 2018 Sheriff Rick Duncan resigned.
Criminal charges were filed and the case was shifted to Anoka County to avoid any conflict of interest. The employee also filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court claiming Duncan inflicted emotional distress, created a hostile work environment and discriminated to deny equal protection by sexually harassing the employee.
Over the past two years the defense has attempted to get the misconduct charge dismissed for not having gone through a grand jury, they have tried to get the judge removed because she is married to an Anoka County Attorney’s office employee, and a host of other legal arguments.
The former sheriff entered a guilty plea in court this week to harassment and misconduct by an elected official; and in the plea agreement the more serious charge of making violent threats is to be dropped when sentencing takes place in December.