According to the Mille Lacs Messenger article, Report: County attorney will not face charges, the paper first heard about the conclusions of an investigation of underage drinking on the Mille Lacs County Attorney's property in an email from Assistant Mille Lacs County Attorney Melissa Saterbak:
Saterbak's email reads as follows: "Since the county attorney 'party' has been breaking news on the messenger for months and made many front page headlines I expect the same will be true for the decline letter and findings of no wrongdoing by Jan and Russ Jude issued by the attorney reviewing the case. I look forward to reading about that shortly since the decline letter was issued on Wednesday."
Oh, snap! The paper received the decline letter today.
Over at the City Pages, Olivia LaVecchia reports more in No charges for Mille Lacs County Attorney Jan Jude:
As Andy Mannix reported in a feature story earlier this month, the party -- a late-May graduation celebration for Jude's daughter -- ignited controversy in the community surrounding the small town of Milaca.
Jude herself is familiar with teenagers drinking at graduation parties. In 2010, she prosecuted another mother for providing alcohol to minors at her house. Though a jury found the woman not guilty, Jude pointed to the case as "a good reminder during this graduation season that we all have to be mindful of underage drinking and take whatever precautions we can."
But this time around, Andover City Prosecutor Scott Baumgartner -- who reviewed the case so that Jude wouldn't have to decide whether to prosecute herself -- determined that "there just wasn't enough" to charge Jude with either providing alcohol to a minor or misconduct of a public official.
The evidence Baumgartner reviewed included 19 witness statement from people at the party. None of them said that the Judes had provided any of the drinks.
"I couldn't find one individual that said or acknowledged that any alcohol was provided by the Judes," Baumgartner told City Pages on Monday morning. "In fact, most of the statements that were taken indicated that the minors there brought their own or got it from somebody else."
As for misconduct of a public official, Baumgartner describes it as "kind of a strange," niche charge. "This was a private matter on private property," Baumgartner explains, and less related to the obligations and responsibilities of Jude's office. . . .
Read the seven-page decline letter here, via the City Pages:
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