Seventeen-year-old Ally Mrozik is willing to swear on a bible that she heard Megan Kolb, daughter of Mille Lacs County Attorney Jan Jude, say that her parents were fine with alcohol at her graduation party, provided that no one drank and drove.
Mrozik's memory is part of the expanding narrative of what allegedly happened at a graduation bonfire on the property of Mille Lacs County Attorney Jan Jude, as teens claiming to be present at the party go on the record to the Mille Lacs Messenger about their experience.
Using interviews with several in attendance and tracing the life of the party on twitter and Facebook, the paper reports that it has compiled a list of names of 40 teens who were at the event.
In a related blog post, editor Brett Larson wonders if the Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office has begun to stonewall the press by not releasing documents covered under the state's data practices law.
Partying teens tell all
In Teens believe county attorney knew about party, Larson and Messenger staff write Rob Passons report multiple accounts from teens who were present at the Jude property that appear to contradict the county attorney's statement that she knew nothing about the events that allegedly took place on her property.
The first story Larson and Passons relay involves a statement from Jude's daughter:
Ally Mrozik, 17, of Milaca, who was in attendance at a May 26 party on the property of Mille Lacs County Attorney Jan Jude, said she believes Jude and her husband Russ knew about the party, which is under investigation by the Anoka County Sheriff's Office. Law enforcement was informed of the party after Bailey Hamilton, 17, was treated for alcohol poisoning.
Mrozik said several other kids were present when Jude's daughter Megan [Kolb], 18, told them that the adults at the house — including the Judes and off-duty officers — "were fine as long as no one drinks and drives."
This occurred toward the beginning of the party, before she became intoxicated, Mrozik said.
"I will put my hand on a Bible," she said. "I remember specifically hearing this."
Mrozik decided to go on the record when her peers figured out who she was and began harassed her for "causing the problems" that now trouble the Jude family:
Mrozik said she had already been identified because she told the newspaper she had gotten drunk and had been picked up by her mom at 2 a.m. She was the only girl who had been picked up by her mom.
She has been harassed on social media for speaking with the paper. In tweets and text messages she has been accused of lying and of causing the problems that face Jude and her husband Russ, a Mille Lacs Tribal Police investigator.
Good for her for standing up to cyberbullying.
Another student, Spencer Slade, who spoke to the paper didn't hear Kolb's statement, but believes that Jude knew about the drinking.
Perhaps the most compelling account come from the 18-year-old who woke Bailey Hamilton's mother and father when he and a friend brought their intoxicated son home. When he remained unresponsive, the Hamiltons called an ambulance. Bailey regained consciousness after six hours at the local hospital.
The friend told the newsmen:
The boy said, "Like I told the investigator, you would know if a four-wheeler goes back and forth a lot. If she looked outside, there was a lot of cars there."
According to the boy, trucks and ATVs were driving back and forth from the bonfire down a trail through the woods, and cars were coming and going from the property — some driven by kids who had been drinking.
"I don't see how she could not know," the boy said. This was the second party the boy had attended on the property, and he had heard of other parties there as well.
In Brett's blog — Sheriff refuses to provide information, a post published late Friday night, Larson shares his frustration at what he believes may be stonewalling on the part of the Mille Lacs County sheriff:
On the morning of July 6, the Messenger requested information from Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren regarding the call to Bailey Hamilton's house and the followup visit to the property of Jan and Russ Jude in the early morning of May 27.
Specifically, we asked for the names of anyone the deputy talked to in his search for information that might help doctors treat Bailey, who was hanging on by a thread in the Princeton ER.
In his news release, Lindgren said, "Deputy attempted calling the residence to make contact with a homeowner to advise them of why the Deputy was on the property in an attempt to gather information to assist medical personnel treating the 17 year old male patient."
That news release was published verbatim to the Messenger website as soon as it was released at around noon on June 5. ...
The request was denied, Larson writes, after noting how the sheriff's department changed its story via email after the press statement was released.
Read why the request was denied at the Messenger. Larson responds:
First, the claim that they already provided all the public data is not remotely true (see below for the list of data from Minnesota Statute 13.82 that I asked for).
Second, if they were denying the request to protect the identity of a juvenile, but the deputy contacted the homeowner ... does that mean the homeowner is a juvenile? Not possible.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but this whole thing is beginning to stink.
Here's another question: Two parents who came to pick up their drunk kid saw a deputy's car parked at an intersection near the property at about 2:05 a.m. with the headlights on.
It's worth reading the rest of the post.
What happened that night on the Jude property? Will the Anoka County Sheriff's Department conduct a thorough investigation?
Remember, Jude prosecuted a case similar to this, but the jury acquitted the woman, as we posted in After parent's 2010 acquittal, Mille Lacs County attorney urged adults to take precautions against underage drinking at graduation parties.
Did the Mille Lacs County Attorney adopt a double standard for her own daughter's graduation party and turn a blind eye over Memorial Day Weekend? The Messenger reports:
The only adult anyone has mentioned being at the bonfire was Grant Kolb, Jude's 21-year-old son, who showed up on a four-wheeler with his girlfriend, according to two sources.
Photos: The Judes and their daughter, Megan Kolb, on graduation day (above) via Jan's Facebook page; Jan Jude, Mille Lacs County Attorney (below) via MPR's Law enforcement fighting 'epidemic' of heroin use.
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