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BREAKING NEWS

County Sheriff’s department Employee being investigated

By Staff | Sep 13, 2010

Faribault County officials are refusing to say what was discussed in a closed-session to address a personnel matter on Tuesday.

For more than 30 minutes, commissioners Bill Groskreutz and Tom Loveall, members of the County Board’s personnel committee; County Attorney Brian Roverud; Sheriff Mike Gormley and chief deputy Scott Adams; and Central Services coordinator Brenda Ripley met behind closed doors.

“All I can tell you is that there is an investigation going on right now. I can’t give you any names. You’ll just have to stay tuned,” says Roverud.

The informal meeting began shortly after the regular board meeting adjourned around 11:30 a.m.

Roverud would not comment as to the nature of the “alleged wrongdoing.”

The county attorney also would not say if the probe is being conducted internally or by an outside firm.

Roverud did not know how long the investigation would take, but says the results will be made public as soon as it is completed.

Adams believes the investigation shouldn’t take too long and could very well be finished in the next week. He would not say if a written complaint has been filed against an employee or what prompted the investigation.

Ripley says Roverud has advised her not to make any public comment. She would not say if anyone has been suspended or has been placed on paid leave of absence.

In another legal matter, Roverud and County Assessor Sue Wiltse updated the board on a settlement reached with Seneca Foods in the company’s tax valuation appeal.

Wiltse says valuation for Seneca’s four parcels of property in Blue Earth was reduced from $3.643 million to $3.1 million for 2008 and 2009.

The 2010 valuation also will be $3.1 million, down from $3.259 million

In Bricelyn, the company’s property valuation was adjusted from $496,200 to $318,700.

The total taxes paid in 2008 and 2009 on all the properties decreases from $149,800 to $121,724. In 2010, the company will pay $120,726. instead of $148,656.

In other business;

• Commissioners appro-ved a proposed budget for 2011 totaling $9.05 million.

The levy is expected to go up 1.1 percent from last year, or $102,639.

Next year’s budget will have $2.03 million more in expenditures, or a 10 percent increase.

The county will be levying for $101,473 to try and recover some of the $370,603 reduction in state aid last year.

Commissioners plan to adopt the final budget at their Dec. 21 meeting, which will begin at 4 p.m. A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled at 6 p.m.

• Gormley informed the board that the county jail last month took in $16,500 in room/board fees charged to out-of-county inmates.

“Our numbers are up. We took some female and nine male inmates from Freeborn County. We’re getting their overflow,” says Gormley.

As of Tuesday, the jail was two-thirds full with 40 prisoners.

Gormley says some extra staff has needed to be hired to help booking in inmates.