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Thursday, December 13, 2007

St. Paul police end probe of TV reporter and sheriff's deputy

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.

30 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

BY MARA H. GOTTFRIED
Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated: 12/13/2007 02:24:50 PM CST


St. Paul police today closed a criminal investigation into whether a Ramsey County sheriff's deputy violated the state data practices law by giving a St. Paul police report to a local TV reporter, determining he hadn't.

The police report in question should have been considered a public document, St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington said at a news conference today.

The case has caused First Amendment concerns because police obtained phone records of the reporter. The Society of Professional Journalists on Wednesday denounced the police department's actions.

"I want to clear up some issues that have been percolating," Harrington said. "Our focus was never on the media, our focus was on the law enforcement official. ... We believe quite strongly in the First Amendment."

On June 11, about 3 p.m., KSMP-TV (Fox 9) reporter Tom Lyden requested from the police department a full report from a 2000 traffic arrest. Police didn't release the full report because they believed it wasn't public - they thought the case was still open, and there were concerns about the identity of the woman involved because she had been a victim of domestic violence and had asked police to protect her identity, Harrington said.

The woman is the wife of a man suspected of shooting an undercover Robbinsdale police officer during a road rage incident in Coon Rapids on June 7.

Police believe Lyden then called a sheriff's deputy and asked him to get the report for him.

Between 4 and 5 p.m. June 11, a sheriff's deputy went to the police records unit and used his law enforcement access to get the full report, Harrington said.
During Fox's 9 p.m. broadcast June 11, Lyden reported on the woman's 2000 arrest, based on the police report.

"We were not happy about that release," Harrington said today. "We believed at the time that that information was not public and that the person's identity should have been protected because of her history as a domestic violence victim."

Harrington said he instructed his staff to initiate a criminal investigation into misconduct by a public official because "we had a law enforcement official who had used color of their office to get the report," Harrington said.

On July 17, police got a "very limited search warrant" to search the sheriff's deputy's phone records from June 11, from the time police got the request from Lyden to the time his report aired, Harrington said.

Police applied for subsequent search warrants, based on phone numbers from the sheriff's deputy's records, and received them, Harrington said.

The police investigation was always into the sheriff's deputy, not Lyden, Harrington said.

Only public officials, not reporters, can violate the state's data practices act, Harrington said.

Police determined the police report should have been public, Harrington said.

"To the best of my knowledge, we have never before, and do not now, have active investigations into the media," Harrington said. "The concern by the media that we are somehow on this blanket search for your records or your notebooks or anything else is just not the case. We do not have that an as intent, we have not had that as a past practice and we will not have that under my watch."

7:13 PM  
Blogger Nancy Lazaryan said...

Wow.

Nancy Lazaryan

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some more "proud pigs" trying to cover theior ass now that they have it in a ringer. Why didn't they determione it was public before? The Chief is righ when he says it was not an active investigation into the media. It's a corrupt investigation into the media, and for him to say it was not a search for the medias records is laughable. The Police already have the records so they can say anything they want to say and they will, just like all the other corrupt city & county officials that just use their BS words to cover their ass. Nothing but NAZIs, that's all they are.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First they do it then they say that isn't what they did and they expect you to disbelieve what you have seen with your own eyes! Typical St Paul leadership.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harrington is a liar. If he's so concerned about officials using the color of their office to do wrong things, why doesn't he investigate the city that employs him. Cause he's a two bit liar that's why! Many people have went to the St Paul Police with complaints about public officials violating the law and they just laugh in yourt face or slam the glass door in your face.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the chief was being set up by Commander Todd Axtell (Finney toad) because the chief supported Bob Fletcher in the last election.

Food for thought.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:55 PM said. Food for thought.
All the other comments are right too.
Harrington is working for the mayor, so he like the "Attorney General of Minnesota" they have to cover up for any and all Minnesota's Government Agencies.
Harrington is just covering for St.Paul and the clowns that run St.Paul.
Harrington would arrest people like Nancy L. for digging into the truth, rather then let any city people go under.
Here Comes The Cop, or is that The Cops?

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Real Cop said...

First, figure out the difference between the St Paul Police Dept. and Ramsey County Sheriff's Office. A call was made by the highest ranking cop in the city and a county deputy bypassed it since his boss is someone else.

Harrington was appointed by Kelly and supported Kelly strongly over Coleman. This is the end of his first six year term. Coleman has not had a chance to appoint a chief. So I would not go too far with that loyalty to Coleman line.

The individual culprit here is the deputy. It was Deputy Mark Naylon who violated protocol and went around the order. It was the Sheriff's Office sticking its big bully of nose into the city Police business.

We now know why Fletcher throw the Chief under the bus earlier this week. Naylon is already under FBI investigation and has been indicted.

We found out that Naylon is Fletcher's best friend (stood up for him at his wedding). We find out that this high ranking deputy is actually a civilian!

Naylon is not a sworn law enforcement officer, he has never even taken the peace officer's exam. In nine years! Yet he gets a uniform, badge and gun.

Fletcher used his power to appoint Naylon and several others instead of bringing in real cops and now he's up to his neck in investigation by the Feds.

It would be nice if the public focused on the corruption charges being investigated at the Sheriff's Office since he is an elected official.

Nice try with the Finney connection but, Harrington was a Fletcher supporter who worked against Finney. Deputy Naylon gave Tom Lyden the information. Naylon filed the complaint with the county (fr the Sheriff) when Finney tried to get 'Chief' on his ballot.

This is a mess that is further proof of the boldness of Sheriff Bob Fletcher. Finney-free.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We are going to have to do more because of a lawsuit threat?" We all know what do more means don't we?.......just cover it up and seep it under the carpet like they always do.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,

Do you really think it is smart to print Fletcher's direct phone number?

2:45 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I reprinted this folks and omitted Sheriff Fletcher's direct phone number. PLEASE, folks do not post addresses or numbers that aren't meant for the genral public.

http://www.minnpost.com/client_files/pdfs/Fletcher_Letter.pdf
For U who know how to copy and paste the URL PUBLISHED IF YOU CAN FIND IT...POSTED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES:
BOB FLETCHER
RAMSEY COUNTY SHERIFF
425 Grove Street
Saint Paul, MN 55101-2418
Telephone: 651-266-****
Fax: 651-266-****
December 11, 2007
Chief John Harrington
St. Paul Police Department
367 Grove Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
RE: Internal Affairs Complaint: False Affidavit for Administrative
Subpoenas/Abuse of Authority
Dear Chief Harrington:
On December 5th I received information from a confidential informant that the St. Paul Police
Department had sought, secured and served administrative subpoenas for telephone records of
KMSP FOX 9 TV reporter Tom Lyden and Director Sheriff Steve Lydon (no relation).
I contacted Public Information Officer Tom Walsh, who confirmed that phone records had been
subpoenaed by the St. Paul Police Department’s Special Investigation Unit in an attempt to prove
that Steve Lydon had given non-public information to reporter Tom Lyden. I informed Walsh
that I believed that this action was an abuse of authority because no crime had occurred.
I reminded Mr. Walsh of our conversation of weeks earlier. At that time, I advised him that I
had carefully researched the information that Walsh believed was passed from Director Steve
Lydon to reporter Tom Lyden. I further determined that even if the alleged transmission had
happened, that the information was public. I have extensive experience in data practices as I
served as the data practices officer at the St. Paul Police Department and have continued to do so
for 13 years in my capacity as Sheriff of Ramsey County.
On December 6, I was contacted by PIO Walsh who requested to meet with me. At 1230 hours
he came to my office. At that time I reiterated my concerns regarding the false affidavit. He went
on to state that the investigation was closed and that you had personally closed it two weeks
previously. I advised him that the closing of the investigation would now result in the
investigative information and subpoena phone records becoming public. That public disclosure
could jeopardize other Sheriff Department investigations.

pg 2Consequently, I am making a written complaint to your Internal Affairs Unit regarding the
actions of SIU Commander David Korus and/or individuals under his direction, control or
supervision who signed and transmitted a false avidavit for an administrative subpoena for phone
records of Director Steve Lydon. Administrative subpoenas require that information sought is
part of an active criminal investigation. Clearly no crime had been committed.
Furthermore, the motives for this investigation are suspect since PIO Walsh originally requested
that I should talk to Director Steve Lydon to “make sure that it doesn’t happen again.” He
further stated that he did not “want to jam someone up” and declined to make a written
complaint as required by law for an IA investigation. Walsh later contacted me, stating, “we are
going to have to do more” since they were being threatened with a “lawsuit.” Walsh advised me
they were considering a criminal investigation. I informed him that I had extensively reviewed
the information and had determined it was public. In addition, the motives of Commander
David Korus cannot be separated from his past history of expressed personal dislike of Director
Steve Lydon.
I am sure you would agree that criminal investigation should never be initiated as a tool to
deflect civil liability. If an investigation was necessary, it should never be conducted by the
agency that perceives itself be the victim and a potential defendant. Such a case should be
immediately referred to an independent agency. Failure to refer the case out only aggravated the
improper conduct.
If it is determined that SIU personnel were ordered to conduct this investigation by Tom Walsh
or other Police personnel I would request that this complaint and investigation be extended to
those in positions of authority regarding these acts. This is particularly important since Tom
Walsh has expressed his personal distain for reporter Tom Lyden on numerous occasions.
Finally, because of your character and integrity, I know you to believe that investigating the
phone contacts of the local media creates an unacceptable atmosphere of intimidation and is
contrary to the principles of free expression, as articulated in the First Amendment, that we are
sworn to protect.
I am available to be interviewed by your Internal Affairs investigators. I can be reached at 651-
266-****.
Sincerely,
Bob Fletcher
Ramsey County Sheriff
Cc: Internal Affairs Commander Kathleen Wuorinen
Public Information Officer Tom Walsh
Commander David Korus, SIU
Name given if needed anonymous to avoid Slander

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,
that 651-266- number is a public number. 266 is the county prefix. We pay for it and publishing it should not be a problem.

Its one more effort for the Sheriff to be above public scrutiny.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

9:37, I am aware the 266 pre-fix are public numbers. We can't have everyone who feels they need special preference on an issue calling the sheriff's direct number.

I can see it now. people calling the sheriff for cats in tree's, parking issues and every other small insignificant thing under the sun.

6:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,

Again you have proved you are a class act. You did the right thing by removing a part of Sheriff's Fletcher's phone number. The important thing is the content of the letter he wrote.

Sgt. Walsh has some explaining to do here. I find it really disturbing that public documents are withheld from the public or news media for no reason and that is a real concern. The only reason this public report was withheld was Walsh had a tiff with Lyden and Walsh wanted to protect one of their own.

Who is actually running SPPD, Finney's people or Harrington's people? It seems like Finney never left and Axtell and company can do as they please like they did under Finney.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Said letter was published at David Brauer www.minnpost.com If you persons did your forensic research U would know David Brauer is the www.e-democracy.com Mpls Forumn Manager DAAAAAAAAAAA
FURTHER FOR RECORDS Pay attention to the new Rules at FCC by Martin contrary to Public and Congressional testimony to have Newspapers controll the Media
You persons are so Trite in your petty matters, when on a National Scale our Right are techinall "taken" www.fcc.gov

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, Its your job to decide what important for the Sheriff to handle and not? Where the hell were you when they were screwing the office up until the FBI had to come in and start taking names?

Fletcher put the public number on a public document. Let him deal with it. Its his public. Nobody hired you to be his look out guy.

-----

7:28. You're a prize. How long are you allowed to avoid responsibility and blame your predecessor? Finney has been gone for five years. If Harrington doesn't have the leadership ability to run the department, then he needs to leave and let someone who can do it. Excuse, excuse, excuse.

Finney is gone. Gone. Its not just Finney's former friends coming after Harrington. Its the Sheriff and Police Federation too. Both of whom supported him and worked against Finney. Harrington is weak on leadership and its time to admit that.

Bill Finney is 1000 miles away from this and its hard to tie him into this one.

I'm sure you'll try.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

http://http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/12/13/police_recordsd/>Police chief regrets searching reporters phone records

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Bob. It appears that this is the Chief and all the Chief alon. I wonder how Finney can be tied to this?

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Finney,

Your toads are your weak link. Who will cut a deal with the Feds first is the question of the day. Do you really think Foster will go down alone? Foster will not do hard time because of health difficulties.

Finney do you really think the Feds are looking the other way now?

Finney, you will be held accountable for the crimes you have committed while in and out of uniform.

Finney do you remember where you put your gun and badge?

Finney, your blackmailing days are over. You thought J. Edgar Hover was cool because you, like he had your private files on the dirt in St. Paul. Should we talk about how you used those files to line your pockets and move up politically?

Finney how is that gun collection working out for you? Lets go back and match serial numbers to CNs.

Finney you are trying to smear Harrington by using your toads to do your dirty work, well just so you know that is not going to happen.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:09. That is a very interesting message you left for Finney. I hope he reads it. It would be wishful thinking for anyone to think he would reply. I do disagree with you on one thing. If Foster does not do hard time it is not because he is in bad health. It is because he will start snitching on every body he knows anything about. It will be very interesting to see how this ends. Maybe that is why everyone is starting to cover there butts right now.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:09, I agree with your assessment of Aaron Foster. Foster will cut a deal to make his life easier. Foster's health problems are such that he will be willing to cut a deal and talk with the Feds, just like the Pluff family did to avoid jail. The Pluff family ratted on their drug dealing buddies to get shorter sentences and Foster will do the same.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What has Finney has to do with this?
I see Harrington admitting to a mistake. A mistake brought on by the Sheriff, who also admits it.

You guys are part of the lawsuit aren't you. You are just as retarded as the slumlords. A bunch of lazy asses who need someone to blame for their failures.

The FBI is investigating Fletcher and four of his deputies.
Harrington is getting trouble from Finney enemies the Police Federation and Sheriff's Office.

Let go or go to work.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob you've been good at stopping the non-germane comments from making it on here or taking them off.

Honestly, the Finney stuff is not relevent. There is nothing in the story or admissions of the principle people in the story that Finney/Foster crew can be tied to. I think its done to deflect.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see Bob's double standard on here. The photo is telling. The more he says stuck to the subject the more he allows people he like to violate that request.

12:08 AM  
Blogger Nancy Lazaryan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nancy,
You have a huge point here. Fletcher is elected. The police chief is appointed by the mayor and can be fired at will by the mayor. The city's police problems lie with the Mayor. The Sheriff's Office problems are his- the Sheriff and he should be held accountable. Its not just him though, there are several deputies who do everything can to protect their boss.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the first day of Christmas,
Bobby Stole from me:
A Ballot Card & My Privacy

On the second day of Christmas,
Bobby Stole from me:
My Rights & My Dignity.

On the third day of Christmas,
Bobby denied to thee:
A Relationship With Kris Was Sure To Me.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
Bobby denied to thee:
Domestic Assault Accountability.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
Bobby said to feebee:
Take Markie's Computer With Thee

On the sixth day of Christmas,
Bobby said it to be:
The Money’s In The Safe It’s Plain To See.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
Bobby can’t conceive:
The FBI Does Not Believe Me.

On the eight day of Christmas,
Bobby is concerned to see:
Everyone IsTalking To Fee Bee

On the ninth day of Christmas,
Bobby wants us to believe:
It’s Finney It’s Really Not Me.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
Bobby soon to see:
Members of a Federal Jury.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
Bobby soon to see:
Everyone is Rolling O n Thee.

On the Twelfth day of Christmas,
The FBI gave to me:
A Trial for a Sheriff And All His Cronies.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was taken from the comments in the update of this article in the PP. To good to pass up...

On the first day of Christmas,
Bobby Stole from me:
A Ballot Card & My Privacy

On the second day of Christmas,
Bobby Stole from me:
My Rights & My Dignity.

On the third day of Christmas,
Bobby denied to thee:
A Relationship With Kris Was Sure To Me.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
Bobby denied to thee:
Domestic Assault Accountibilty.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
Bobby said to feebee:
Take Markie's Computer With Thee

On the sixth day of Christmas,
Bobby said it to be:
The Money’s In The Safe It’s Plain To See.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
Bobby can’t conseive:
The FBI Does Not Believe Me.

On the eight day of Christmas,
Bobby is concerned to see:
Everyone Is Talking To Fee Bee

On the ninth day of Christmas,
Bobby wants us to believe:
It’s Finney It’s Really Not Me.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
Bobby soon to see:
Members of a Federal Jury.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
Bobby soon to see:
Everyone is Rolling O n Thee.

On the Twelfth day of Christmas,
The FBI gave to me:
A Trial for a Sheriff And All His CronIes.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems 4:09 PM is also AKA "Mander," is posting this same post in the Pioneer Press Comments section: (http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_7751669?nclick_check=1).

It seems SPPD cops have nothing better to do on the city's dime.

Mander, there is real crime out on the streets of St. Paul. Your agenda is to trash Fletcher and Harrington. Just so you know, Finney LOST the election. Get over it and move on with your life.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough with the rhyme's and speculation on what might of happened or should have happened the real story is (The woman in the report use to be a NAO for St.Paul P.D. that makes it public information on who she is) She has a criminal history, her new boyfriend or husband by now was a informant for St.Paul P.D. against her X husband she was not in any protection program. Plain and simply the information was public but Tom Walsh (Romeo) had the hots for her so he made up this protected information story! For those of you who don't know Tom had a couple weeks off when he was a Sargent for running around the team house chasing female police officers in his underwear he has a little problem of his own!

5:46 PM  

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