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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

BURNSVILLE/ Mans threats are not enough to lose housing voucher.

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Blogger Bob said...

Burnsville / Man's threats aren't enough to cancel housing voucher
Ruling: Evidence of letters asking Glock for guns wasn't produced
BY FREDERICK MELO
Pioneer Press
Article Launched: 09/19/2007 12:01:00 AM CDT


Karl Meyer said he never should have been denied money for subsidized housing in Dakota County, and in a surprise decision on Tuesday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals agreed.

His alleged crime? Writing a letter to the manufacturer of Glock firearms requesting to borrow weapons so he could launch an attack on the Burnsville Police Department.

The three-judge panel ruled that not enough evidence had been presented during an informal county hearing to terminate Meyer's Section 8 housing voucher.

"Obviously, I'm super happy, and Karl's going to be overjoyed," said Meyer's attorney, Lisa Hollingsworth of Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services. "For a person with a disability, Section 8 rental assistance can be invaluable."

Meyer, a Burnsville resident who had received the federal assistance since 1992, never got his guns. After his April 2005 letter, Glock Inc. contacted Burnsville police and he was placed in a holding facility for 72 hours.

Despite efforts to have him committed to a psychiatric hospital, the district court found that he was not a threat and released him, according to the appeals ruling.

In March 2006, Meyer wrote a letter to a woman in Newton Township, Pa., again "threatening to arm himself and launch an attack on the local police station." The woman informed officers, who contacted Burnsville police.

No charges were filed, but a private landlord asked Meyer to leave his Burnsville residence at the end of his lease, and the Dakota County Community Development Agency, which administers federal housing programs, terminated his housing voucher.

The letters "constituted a threat of criminal activity" and violated federal regulations, the agency reasoned.

When he informally appealed his case to a hearing officer, Meyer argued that the CDA should have taken into account his history of mental illness and 10 years of psychiatric treatment. He lost.

When the Court of Appeals reviewed the hearing officer's findings, it agreed federal rules do allow housing agencies to end a person's Section 8 benefits for violent activity, regardless of whether the person has been arrested or convicted.

But the housing agency failed to provide the original letters during the hearing, instead presenting police reports from both incidents.

Without the originals, the justices found it difficult to determine the context of the threats and how serious they were. They ruled his benefits should be reinstated.

"We acknowledge this is a close case," the justices wrote.

But in a footnote, they noted that when the Vikings blow a lead and the crowd turns against the referee, the "stands closest to the beer garden reverberate with mention of bodily harm to blind people who wear black and white stripes."

They wrote: "That language 'could,' but not likely, (constitute) ... a threat of 'violent criminal activity' that a reasonable person would take serious. Context and timing do matter."

Hollingsworth said even if the letters had been presented, they would not have amounted to criminal activity and noted that charges were not pursued in either incident.

Mark Ulfers, executive director of the Dakota County CDA, said he was surprised by the decision.

"When we hear about these kinds of threats, we take them very, very seriously," Ulfers said. "We're going to be studying the decision with our attorney and definitely considering an appeal."

Frederick Melo can be reached at fmelo@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-2172.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy will be thrown out.

The supreme court will reverse.

See: Mnlps Public Housing Authority
vs. Mai Lor 591 n.w.2d 700. Minnesota Supreme Court.

This Guy made terroristic threats
whether he has mental problems or
not.

He only got away with it so far because the Housing Authority
considered only the police reports and not the actual letter to the firearms company.

No one denies he made the threats,
according to law he should be out.

The law is twisted, and restraining orders have been issued for less !!

Jeff M .

5:34 PM  

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