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WASHINGTON COUNTY ATTORNEYS OFFICE 2015 ANNUAL REPORT Washington County Attorneys Office Law Enforcement Center 651-430-6115 15015 62nd Street North P. O. Box 6 Stillwater MN 55082-0006 Washington County Attorneys Office2014 Annual Report 2 Inside this report Contents 2 Message from the County Attorney 3 Administrative Division 4 Civil Division 6 Criminal Division 10 Juvenile Division 14 Major Crimes Prosecution Unit 18 Mentorship Program 20 Staff Awards 22 Community Outreach 24 Staff Events 26 Staff Recognition 27 New Staff in 2015 28 Pete Orput was sworn in for his second term as County Attorney at the Washington County Board meeting on January 6 2015 by the Honorable John Hoffman. Throughout the year Pete has attended many events all over Washington County including this event at Marine on St. Croixs annual Memorial Day program. Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 3 Message from the County Attorney Welcome to the Washington County Attorneys Office annual report for 2015. I thank you for your interest in my offices work and I am confident that the achievements of my offices attorneys and staff in 2015 will impress you as much as they have me. This report marks the completion of my fifth year as County Attorney. Along with our partners in law enforcement in the communities throughout Washington County the County Attorneys Office has accomplished a great deal in 2015 to enhance public safety. As you will see in our offices highlights we have continued to develop proactive crime prevention initiatives and citizen education programs to address factors that drive crime in our communities. Across the organization our story is a success in standout employees who make us one of the premiere County Attorney offices in the State. This 2015 annual report represents a snapshot of the work that our office does every day on behalf of the citizens of Washington County. It highlights just some of the many accomplishments coming from the work of our dedicated team of prosecutors and staff who seek justice in our courtrooms and communities. I remain deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Washington County Attorney and look forward to working with you and our communities to make a difference in the quality of life for all citizens of Washington County. Pete Orput Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 4 Administrative Division Overview Administrative Division The administrative division is responsible for planning and executing a comprehensive range of administrative services that support the mission of the Washington County Attorney. The division is overseen by the First Assistant Brent Wartner who is the principal advisor to the County Attorney on administrative matters. The administrative division provides guidance on the management and use of the offices financial human and physical resources and on administrative policies procedures information and practices. Administrative programs include physical and personnel security human resource management financial management systems and information management automated litigation support case management records management and media relations. The administrative staff must work closely with all divisions to ensure compliance with and implementation of all policies standards and mandates of the office. Systems and Information Management Administrative Services Manager Jennifer Baltaian is responsible for the effective management of our 5.2 million annual budget support services matters and technological resources and initiatives. She is also responsible for maintaining our electronic case management system used to facilitate the work flow and work products maintained in each functional division and with the assistance of a supervisor she is responsible for management of division legal support services staff consisting of 12 legal assistants 4 paralegals and an office support position. Public Relations and Media A primary focus of the administrative division is serving the information needs of the public. Cathy Rochel serves as the coordinator between the County Attorney and the media other governmental agencies and the public. She coordinates the office responses to a multitude of various requests. The administrative division is also responsible for all media relations and facilitates press conferences statements and interviews with the County Attorney or designee when appropriate. While information regarding pending cases must be safeguarded in order to ensure effective prosecution this need must be balanced with the publics right to know. In addition to media relations the division is responsible for the production of a variety of published materials such as brochures newsletters informational pamphlets and special reports. Cathy is responsible for coordinating events in the office and in the community. Brent Wartner First Assistant County Attorney Jenn Baltaian Administrative Services Manager Cathy Rochel Executive Assistant Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 5 Administrative Division Customer Service In 2015 the office of the County Attorneys main line received over 9500 phone calls. The processing and fielding each of these calls can range from case status inquiries to attorney and victim advocate assignments directions or other general inquiries. Planning and Development The administrative division prepares the long and short range strategic planning for the office including participation in the county- wide strategic plan. The administrative division coordinates purchasing and inventory tracking to ensure fiscal responsibility and maintain the yearly budget of the office. The division also pursues state and federal partnerships and funding in an effort to minimize requests for additional local funding. East Metro Crime Prevention Coalition Forum May 12 2015 The East Metro Crime Prevention Coalition includes the county attorneys and sheriffs from Washington Ramsey and Dakota Counties. In 2015 the EMCPC convened a pair of forums entitled How We Raise Our Boys to discuss male socialization and the culture that enables and even encourages acts of violence and sexual exploitation of women and children. The daytime event served as a professional symposium of local officials and professional staff from the three surrounding communities. The event was held at the Rosemount Community Center and 85 people attended. Ted Bunch director and co-founder of A Call to Men talked about male socialization and the culture that objectifies women and perpetuates the cycle of men feeling entitled to use women to meet their own needs. A second forum was held that evening at Henry Sibley High School as a public conversation engaging parents students teachers faith-based and community organizations. County Attorney Pete Orput First Assistant Brent Wartner Administrative Services Manager Jenn Baltaian Executive Assistant Cathy Rochel In 2015 over 6604 people attended over 121 presentations put on by County Attorneys office staff. Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 6 Civil Division The Civil Division touches and concerns every department in the county. Although the civil division lacks the notoriety of the other divisions in the office its understated role is nevertheless vital to the overall operation of the county both in its governmental and corporate capacities. Our responsibilities are pervasive and touch and concern every department in the county. We serve as counselor litigator seer and sometimes punching bag but service is our common tender and we go to great lengths not to make payment in false coin. As one can see from the graph on page 8 our commission is manifold encompassing matters from contracts to zoning. It is impossible to capture a years work in a short narrative. However even a short rendering will reveal the helter-skelter existence in the civil division and that the civil division shows as bright as Persephone in the underworld. A recurring problem faced by governments at all levels is the collection of monies owed it. It is particularly dire when programs are dependent on recycled money. Prior to 2012 this was a palpable concern for the Countys Community Services Department in its efforts to collect medical assistance reimbursements. For example in 2012 Community Services was only able to collect an anemic 25 per cent of the reimbursements owed so it was in 2012 that the civil division began a collaboration with community services to collect medical reimbursements. The result In 2015 the county collected 99.6 per cent of the reimbursements. The difference lay in the fact that we were able to open the courthouse door and midwife the collections process through the legal system. The division also demonstrated its mettle in what amounted to a quiet title action brought by the county against a former landowner who had lost title to the land through tax forfeiture. On the day the forfeiture sale of the land was to take place the owner filed a lis pendens thereby clouding the title and scarring away all potential bidders on the land. What began as a simple district court case brought by our office requesting removal of the lis pendens devolved into a complex litigation as the former owner raised a number of beguilingly arcane issues which were all deftly parried. The case traveled through the district court to the court of appeals and at the end of a very long journey the state was finally owner of clear title. The county subsequently sold the land at auction for 1 million so it was a journey well taken. George Kuprian Civil Division Chief Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 7 Civil Division The Purchase The foremost challenge for 2015 at least from the perspective of the civil divisions major domo was involvement in the purchase of the Newport Resource Recovery Facility. This was a joint enterprise purchase with Ramsey County of a facility owned by a private entity that transposes garbage into a product that is currently burned as fuel to generate electricity although there is hope and promise that future technologies will allow the product to be used less obtrusively. The legal effort attending the purchase was akin to cleaning the Stygian stables. A purchase price first needed to be established through arbitration. It was determined by the arbiter to be 26 million but too high in the counties estimation. This led to contentious negotiations with the private owner and resulted in a final price of 24.5 million. A purchase agreement was developed and extensive due diligence was performed. In the meantime the counties negotiated a new joint powers agreement which gave the joint powers entity considerable autonomy to operate the facility. One of the more challenging aspects of the purchase was to reconstitute the labor agreement to conform to public employment law and without the reformation the purchase could not go forward. The changes necessitated contracting out the management of the facility for two years which was done after some difficult negotiations. In addition to these major negotiations dozens of various operational contracts needed to be negotiated with haulers landfills power plants etc. It was a hectic time and this only chronicles the salient aspects of the purchase. However in the end the purchase was made and now the work begins as operator of the facility. The first item on the agenda is to repatriate the countys designation ordinance mandating county waste be delivered to the facility and as sure as God made little green apples the institution of designation will bring on a lawsuit. However that is for a future issue of this annual report. Civil Division Chief George Kuprian Attorneys Rick Hodsdon Mike Hutchinson Linda Krafthefer Sue Steffen Tice Jim Zuleger Paralegals Vicky Krawczeski Deb Peterson Char Trende Legal Assistants Allison Cossetta Pamela Gurnsey Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 8 Civil by the Numbers in 2015 Workload Distribution by Percentage Workload Distribution by File Assignments Administrative Appeals 17 Civil Actions 16 Collections 10 Contract Review 651 Data Practices 44 EstateClaimDemands 262 Expungements 87 Forfeitures 214 Guardianship and Conservatorship 6 Child SupportPaternity 1645 Land Acquisitions 5 Opinions 43 Other 7 Tax Appeals 167 Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 9 Civil by the Numbers in 2015 Contract Reviews and Legal Opinions Sound Fiscal Management for Legal Services in Washington County Source US Census Bureau websites of counties listed above 2014 data 0 50 100 150 200 250 Washington County Library Sheriffs Office Public Works Public Health Enviornment Property Records Taxpayer Services Information Technology Human Resources Department of Human Services Department of Corrections County Attorneys Office Community Services Administration Accounting Finance 2 58 243 144 6 59 3 3 19 4 112 16 25 Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 10 Criminal Division The numbers are self-explanatory in terms of the radical increase in caseload for the criminal division in 2015. The Criminal Division of the Washington County Attorneys Office consists of the Division Chief and nine 9 assistant county attorneys responsible for the prosecution of all felonies committed in the county as well as misdemeanors committed in those municipalities without municipal attorneys. The division commits an attorney to handle all appeals in which the office is involved whether civil or criminal cases. The division also consists of four 4 VictimWitness Advocates whose duties include acting as victim liaisons throughout criminal and juvenile cases. They also marshal witnesses for trial for the prosecuting attorneys handling the cases. They play an invaluable role in the efficient functioning of the criminal justice system in Washington County. This office has long implemented an aggressive methodology to insure a timely decision-making process on requests for charges such that a decision to charge to decline a case or to refer a case for further investigation result in these decisions being handled in an expedited manner. This was implemented in 2011. Since then the average time between when a case file entering the office and a decision on chargingdecliningreferring has steadily become quicker. By the end of 2015 the average time for these decisions to be made were six 6 days from their submission. We operate under a vertical system of prosecution. This means that the prosecutor that charges the case will handle the case all the way through trial. This insures is a consistency of handling that case throughout. Coupled with that is a methodology where we have emphasized negotiating with the defense on cases other than the complex career and violent offenses well in advance of trial so our prosecutors could focus their preparations on cases that are going to be presented to a jury. Those efforts entail preparing civilian witnesses victims and police officers for their testimony going through the physical evidence creating exhibits and fashioning opening and closing arguments. As a result of these efforts far fewer cases reach the jury calendar. Fewer cases calendared for jury trial have allowed our prosecutors to better prepare for trial allowed for better use of court resources better served our victims in early case resolution and better served our law enforcement constituency. Those cases that do reach the jury calendar are either tried to a jury or the defendant must enter a straight guilty plea with no agreement as to sentencing. Focusing as we have on violent career and complex cases and properly preparing them we have radically increased our trials over the past several years in our efforts to bring a higher quality of justice to Washington County residents. In 2015 the criminal division was in trial forty five 45 days. Fred Fink Criminal Division Chief Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 11 Criminal Division Last year the division was involved with ten 10 homicide cases. Felony referrals to the office increased by 19 over 2014. Criminal complaints issued by the office increased by 20. Citations issued on misdemeanors and handled by the office increased 55. The criminal division has also continued to provide extensive training to local police agencies and our sheriffs office. After surveying law enforcement for their needs we have long held quarterly police training. This typically involved a three hour day class and three hour evening class in order to make the training available to all shifts . The value of providing police training to law enforcement agencies can be measured in the quality of the cases presented to our office for prosecution. It also serves to strengthen our relationships with all of the law enforcement departments and their officers. We have provided fifty-five 55 hours of police training in 2015 to a total of over 2300 police officer attendees from all around the state. These classes have resulted in fewer cases being declined for prosecution due to elements of the crime not being able to be proven to stronger and more targeted efforts in prosecution of violent crimes and targeted criminal prosecution. In addition to offering regularly scheduled law enforcement training this office offers prosecutor training both in-office and statewide. Prosecutors from our office have provided sixty-six 66 hours of prosecutor training in 2015 to over 3500 prosecutors. This commitment to making the prosecution function the best it can be is reflected in the fact that the training provided by our office was all volunteer. These efforts in training with law enforcement prosecutors other county departments and the public will continue as they can only benefit the criminal justice system in the long run. Criminal Division Chief Fred Fink Attorneys Imran Ali Laurie Anderson Thomas Harmon Karin McCarthy Kevin Mueller Jessica Stott Tom Wedes Siv Yurichuk Supervisor Teri Kelly Legal Assistants Pam Hughes Alissa Leibfried Theresa Leverty Jean Mersch Aimee Schroeder Paralegal Brooke Throngard VictimWitness Coordinators Steve Despiegelaere Deb Smith Christine VonDeLinde Kathy Woxland Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 12 Criminal By the Numbers in 2015 Adult Cases by Crime Type Criminal Complaints 897 781 832 992 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 2012 2013 2014 2015 Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 13 Serving Victims of Crime Being a victim of a crime can be a very difficult experience. Whether you or a family member has been victimized you may feel anger guilt shame insecurity fear powerlessness and depression. Victims of crime need an aggressive champion on their side to ensure they receive the support they deserve and that is a strong focus of our office. Its not just criminals who enjoy rights- victims do too Victims have the right to restitution the right not to be excluded from criminal justice proceedings and the right to speak at criminal justice proceedings. We provide resources and referrals to victims for therapy healing and costs associated with victimization. Our staff of four victim advocates - two of whom are former law enforcement officers- work closely with our adult and juvenile prosecution teams to ensure that victims voices get heard in court. Washington County Attorneys Office Victim Witness Coordinators Kathy Woxland Deb Smith Steve Despiegelaere and Christine VonDeLinde As County Attorney my office strives to hold offenders accountable for the damage they have caused innocent victims. Prevention and early reporting are key factors in stopping the victimization that too many citizens experience. Crime Victims in 2015 Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 14 Juvenile Division The Juvenile Division seeks to promote public safety through the prosecution of juvenile crimes while taking into consideration the special circumstances of juvenile offenders. The Juvenile Division led by Division Chief Tony Zdroik prosecutes all juvenile delinquency cases filed in Washington County Court. The juvenile division also provides legal representation to Washington County Community Services on child protection matters that involve children who have been abused or neglected by a parent or legal custodian. The child protection statistics continued to increase in 2015 but in a much greater manner Child Protection referrals58 increase over our 10 year average Child in Need of Protection or Services referrals57 increase from the 10 year average Termination of Parental Rights referrals62 increase from the 10 year average The significant increase of 2015 is likely due to several factors Recent legislative changes caused additional cases to be screened Increased consultation with the County Attorneys Office Increased number of social workers assigned to child protection cases statewide Juvenile prosecution case filings rose in all categories Delinquency filings18 increase Felony petitions for 16 and 17 year olds47 increase Juvenile traffic offenses-14 increase Juvenile petty offenders3 increase The County Attorneys office continues to demonstrate its support for diversion as an effective and efficient tool to address low risk juvenile offenders. In 2015 the County Attorneys Office diverted 407 juveniles from the juvenile court system. That number was just under 40 of all cases where there was probable cause the juvenile committed a violation of criminal law. The attorneys in the juvenile division continued to receive requests for training from various agencies in 2015. Training was provided to over 1000 individuals by attorneys from the juvenile division in 2015. The audience of those trainings included students parents law enforcement officers social workers school officials and prosecutors. Tony Zdroik Juvenile Division Chief Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 15 Juvenile Division School Resource Officer Training August 5 2015 The County Attorneys Office values its partnerships with the schools that serve Washington County students and the School Resource Officers who work in many of those schools. In an effort to impart relevant and practical information to our partners a free all-day training was sponsored by the County Attorneys Office on August 5th at the Government Center. This was the third year such training was held. School Administrators representing sixteen secondary schools from eight different school districts were attendance along with School Resource officers from seven law enforcement agencies working in ten secondary schools. Attendees heard Sara Holmboe and Mike Huntley from the Youth Service Bureau talk about many of the popular social media apps that teens are currently using and how to guide students in using those apps appropriately and safely. Detective Paul Torguson from the Woodbury Police Department shared valuable information about how to preserve electronic media from cell phones when a school official or law enforcement officer legally takes a students phone due to alleged criminal activity. County Attorney Pete Orput explained how to legally search and seize evidence in a school setting when a student is suspected of being involved in illegal activity at school. A presentation addressing the leading drugs being used in Washington County particularly by students was given by Detective Lynn Lawrence from the Sheriffs Office and Assistant County Attorney Imran Ali who both work exclusively on drug cases. Participants were able to view real samples of many of these drugs so they know what to look for. Three attorneys from the Juvenile Division also presented. Tony Zdroik and Jodi Kennedy from Community Services spoke about the Child Maltreatment Reporting Law Kari Lindstrom explained the various dispositions that can ordered in Juvenile Court and Sue Harris described the Truancy Program and the role law enforcement and school officials provide in that process. Ultimately it was a very full and well-received training. Juvenile Division Chief Tony Zdroik Attorneys Rick Allen Sue Harris Erin Johnson Jamie Kreuser Kari Lindstrom Kevin Mueller Legal Assistants Sherry Hillman Reilly Palmen Teri Selden Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 16 Truancy The Truancy Initiative continues to intervene in the lives of students and families who are struggling with school attendance. During the 2014-2015 school year the County Attorneys office continued to reach more students and families on a face to face level by speaking with them at the Attendance Intervention Meetings AIM and Diversion Contract meetings. Those meetings help divert students who are struggling with attendance issues from Juvenile Court and offer information and services in order to improve attendance. The AIM meeting is a group meeting where Susan Harris an assistant county attorney and Pete Orput speak to students and parents about the concerns and realities of poor school attendance. Students and families are invited to voluntarily attend the AIM meetings. During the 2014-2015 school year the County Attorneys office invited 501 families to the AIM meetings. The attendance rate for those meetings was 51 percent and of those who attended 50 had improved attendance. For those families who did not attend the AIM meeting after the invitation there was improved attendance in 45 of those families. Those numbers show that simply having the AIM meeting and contacting parents and students about it has positively impacted student attendance. If the student continues to truant after an invitation to the AIM meeting a Diversion Contract Meeting is scheduled. At that meeting the student meets with a social worker school officials and Susan Harris. During that meeting the parties enter into a contract to improve school attendance. During the 2014-2015 school year Ms. Harris scheduled 125 diversion meetings with students and parents. The efforts of the AIM and Diversion Contract meetings clearly have an impact on addressing truancy issues as the County Attorneys Office filed only 39 Truancy Petitions in Juvenile Court during the 2014-2015 school year. That was actually a slight decrease from the prior school year. Pledge to Graduate Drawings 2015 Pledge to Graduate Winners Student at Crosswinds Middle School awarded iPad donated by Sams Club Student at Forest Lake Area High School awarded class ring donated by Jostens Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 17 Juvenile By the Numbers in 2015 Juvenile Cases by Crime Type Child Protection 0 20 40 60 Adoption Child in Need of Permanent Custody to Review of Placement Review of Voluntary Termination of Transfer of 6 51 4 3 6 18 6 Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 18 County Attorneys Office Major Crimes Unit On November 18 2015 County Attorney Pete Orput announced the formation of a partnership with local law enforcement agencies and social service organizations to combat sex trafficking. Sex trafficking has been identified as the top priority for the County Attorneys Major Crimes Prosecution Unit. In addition to the Washington County Attorneys Office coalition members include the Washington County Sheriffs Office police departments from Bayport Cottage Grove Forest Lake Newport Oak Park Heights Oakdale St. Paul Park Stillwater and Woodbury the Minnesota State Patrol the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Washington Countys Community Services and Community Corrections departments Tubman family crisis and support services Canvas Health and other health care and social service providers. Key actions undertaken as part of the initiative include Establishing the Major Crimes Prosecution Section to focus on the most complex difficult time- consuming cases with sex trafficking identified as the highest priority. Washington County Prosecutor Imran Ali has been appointed to lead the section. Creation of the Washington County Human Trafficking Unit. Coordination among partner organizations and others in training database management and investigation of sex trafficking cases Developing training materials and providing training for law enforcement hotel staff and others on how to recognize sex trafficking activities and potential victims. Reviewing closed and pending cases involving at-risk juveniles including runaways criminal sexual conduct and prostitution. Creation of a program to help identify and track potential victims of sex trafficking. Increasing investigations and prosecutions on the demand side to reduce incidents of sex trafficking. Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 19 Major Crimes Prosecution Unit The office has created the Major Crimes Prosecution unit as described previously. Initial emphasis has been on the detection investigation of and prosecution of juvenile sex traffickers. To that end in addition to the prosecution of these individuals we have formed the Washington County Human Trafficking Coalition. In forming the coalition we have assembled a group of law enforcement members from each law enforcement department in our county. Meetings occur monthly at which time we work on pending operations in Washington County. Training is a large component of the coalition. All members have been trained from the legal to operational aspects of human trafficking. We have established through our partners in the Washington County Sheriffs Office a human trafficking tip line. The tip line which will be monitored 24 hours a day 7 days a week will be provide the community a tool to provide information that may be completely anonymous. Washington County Tip Line651-430-7825. We have established a streamlined system where the detectives who are training in this area would be dispatched to the scene involving sex trafficking. This system is designated as Code RedEmergency Response to Sex Trafficking. Generally these dispatches would occur should a patrol officer discover a juvenile believed to the trafficked and those adults in which any potential immediate harm would occur. Once the patrol officer makes this discovery they would contact the major crimes prosecutor in the Washington County Attorneys Office. If immediate services are needed Washington County would dispatch a code red to those members of the coalition. As a result the most experienced and trained investigators will not only collect evidence but provide the victim resources immediately. Through a grant provided by the Office of Justice Programs the Washington County Attorneys Office hired a criminal analyst to assist the coalition. The criminal analyst is tasked with many duties including retaining web-based data from various internet outlets that solicit sexual services. The information is kept on a database that was created by the analyst. As a result of the data retention our analyst has identified four juvenile sex trafficking victims in less than a month which law enforcement has recovered and provided resources. The major crimes unit has charged numerous cases ranging from over a dozen solicitation of the juvenile to commit prostitution sex trafficking in the first degree promotion of prostitution child pornography and electronic solicitation of a child. The major crimes unit also has prosecuted sophisticated organized crimes including gang assault and a major retail crime fraud ring that reaches all the way to Miami Florida. The unit is also engaging in a large scale effort at not only training police investigators on sex trafficking but also explaining our efforts in informational presentations to schools civic groups and professional associations. Christine VonDeLinde Aimee Schroeder Imran Ali Siv Yurichuk and Tony Zdroik Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 20 Mentorship Program African American Male Mentorship Program The African American Male Mentorship Program was started in 2015. Over a span of four months approximately 20 students were given the opportunity to spend four hours at each of the following agenciesbusinesses Washington County Attorneys Office TCF Corporate Headquarters Apple Valley Police Department and Bolander Construction. At each site the young men heard from a variety of speakers who shared their stories of their background how they chose their profession what it takes to be successful in their various fields of work and how the students could improve their opportunities in adult life by the actions they take now. Many of the speakers were African American and it was poignant to see many of these young men make major shifts in their vision of what they thought they could do with their lives. Community advocates for the program are Pete Orput Washington County Attorney Leon Tazel VP Sr. Manager Human Resources and Employee Relations TCF Bank Reverend Kelly Webb Senior Partner Webb and Associates John Rechtzigel Chief of Police Apple Valley Police Department Brent Wartner First Assistant Washington County Attorney Susan Harris Assistant Washington County Attorney Mark Ryan President Bolander Construction Mary Bussman Services and Programs Coordinator East Metro Integration District In 2015 we had three events in Washington County. On February 27 2015 the County Attorneys Office hosted a visit from 20 students from area high schools participating in the program. The visit to our office was part of an instructional series that exposes African American males in high school to positive leaders in the community who emphasize the need for post-secondary education by introducing students to various employment options and the steps in achieving them. The event held February 27 2015 in the County Attorneys office included participation from the above and also Assistant Chief Judge George T. Stephenson Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Dominick Mathews and Tony Zdroik Chief of Juvenile Division Washington County Attorneys Office. Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 21 Mentorship Program African American Male Mentorship Program On May 21 2015 Pete Orput Brent Wartner Tony Zdroik and Susan Harris assisted in a celebration held for the students from Park and Rosemount High Schools who participated in the African American Male Mentorship Program. The program began in February as a pilot in Park and Rosemount High Schools with the purpose of exposing African American male students to leaders in various professions with the hope that by meeting these leaders in their work environment the students will be able to broaden their vision of their future. On December 11 2015 the WCAO in partnership with the Tazel Institute hosted 100 students and teachers from Rosemount Apple Valley and Cottage Grove high schools for a day of educational training for African American male students with a goal of exposing the students to career opportunities in the criminal justice system. Students were introduced to the daily work experience of a prosecutors office and the important function that each employee has in seeking justice on behalf of the community. In addition guest speakers provided motivational examples of how commitment and dedication can allow disadvantaged students to gain access to higher education and become successful in pursing their dreams. During this day-long event students had an opportunity to meet with trial attorneys in different areas of the office and learned about the basic steps involved in the prosecution of a criminal case. The students also learned how the county attorney must work and collaborate with victims law enforcement and the community to find justice. Participating youth are encouraged to support one another in making positive life decisions and to develop a network of mentors in governmental agencies and the business community for future career opportunities. Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 22 Staff Awards Pete Orput Washington County Attorney Pete Orput received a Minnesota Lawyer Attorney of the Year award on February 19 2015. Pete was nominated for his work on State v. Byron Smith. Imran Ali Assistant County Attorney Criminal Division Imran Ali was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Minnesota State Association of Narcotics Investigators at the Can-Am annual meeting. Imran Ali was cited for his Outstanding Contribution to Minnesota Drug Law Enforcement. Ali has spearheaded Washington County law enforcements emphasis on the investigation and prosecution of drug related homicides in the past several years most notably the prosecution and conviction of 5 individuals in the overdose death of Woodbury teenager Tara Fitzgerald. Community Thread Outstanding Business Volunteer Group Community Thread awarded the Washington County Attorneys Office the Outstanding Business Volunteer Group award in recognition of our participation in their Spring Into Service event. Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 23 Staff Awards Service Awards In 2015 we celebrated milestones for staff members. Deb Peterson Paralegal Civil Division 35 years Mike Hutchinson Assistant County Attorney Civil Division 25 years Richard Allen Assistant County Attorney Juvenile Division 15 years Erin Johnson Assistant County Attorney Juvenile Division 10 years Karin McCarthy Assistant County Attorney Criminal Division 10 years Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 24 Community Outreach Community Education Training sessions have been presented to other county staff attorneys legal assistants paralegals social workers judges law clerks child support officers prison staff law enforcement and others. Presentations about crime prevention and other topics were given to many community groups. We were also involved with community forums such as Know the Truth and community events dealing with domestic abuse and sex trafficking. Spring Into Service On May 14 2015 many Washington County Attorneys office staff and family members volunteered for Community Threads Spring Into Service event. Volunteers helped clean up the grounds the trails and the house at Arcola Mills north of Stillwater. Night to Unite Staff members partnered with law enforcement and participated in events at a dozen communities in Washington County for Night to Unite events. Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 25 Community Outreach Washington County Fair Many staff members volunteered to work at our County Fair booth. Staff talked to people who came to our booth told them about the work our office does and gave out crime prevention information. Students K-12 signed a pledge to commit to graduate from high school and were entered into a drawing to win a class ring donated by Jostens and an iPad donated by Sams Club. Staff also helped at the Senior Day event where seniors were given some information on preventing identity theft enjoyed refreshments and bingo and senior volunteers of the year were recognized. Safe Summer Nights A series of events called Safe Summer Nights were started in St. Paul in 2014. We were able to bring this event to two communities in Washington County Landfall and Cimarron. Free food hamburgers hot dogs pop etc. and activities were provided to communities while local police are there to meet the citizens and enjoy a cook-out with them. Events typically focus on poor or distressed communities where police are often active. Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 26 Staff EventsCommunity Fundraising April Showers Thanks to the generosity of staff family and friends the fifth annual Washington County Attorneys office fundraising drive collected many baby and infant items and cash donations for Tubmans annual April Showers donation drive. Food Drives Staff participated in county food drives in January and December and donated many needed food items and cash that went to various organizations in the county. Combined Charities Fund Drive Staff raised over 1949 this year for Washington Countys charitable giving fund drive through many activities including bake sales breakfast cart casual days and prize raffle with prizes donated by staff.. Donations for the Troops Our office sent five boxes to Cpt. Mikhail Kuprian and his team which included packages of beef jerky protein bars magazines candy and numerous other items. We received word that the goodies were received and they were most grateful for them Washington County Attorneys Office2015 Annual Report 27 Staff Recognition Recognition and appreciation of staff is important to us. Acknowledgment is given for service awards retirements new staff trial victories hard work on cases and other accomplishments. Other events held include Dog Days of Summer employee appreciation picnic lunch hosted by management family picnic after work Administrative Professionals luncheon Bosses Day luncheon Halloween party and Christmas party and activities. Team Building Events Various team building events were held in 2015. The support staff in conjunction with Administrative Professionals Day held an event at St. Croix Bluffs in April a joint event with Washington County Community Corrections at Arcola Mills in July our annual Dog Days of Summer events including a staff picnic and dog park event in September and many staff attended the Countys Health Safety and Wellness Event at Lake Elmo Park in September. Criminal Heavy Hitters Heavy Hitter Award - a travelling trophy awarded to the prosecutor who has successfully tried a jury trial. That prosecutor keeps the bat symbolizing the award until another prosecutor has similar success in a jury trial. Annual Administrative Professionals Luncheon This publication made possible through the efforts of the Washington County Attorneys Office in association with local law enforcement agencies. Funds are utilized to convert property that aided in or was used in the commission of criminal offenses to a public benefit. No taxpayer dollars have been expended in the printing of this publication. MISSION We promote justice and public safety through vigorously prosecuting crime protecting those in need and providing quality legal representation for Washington County. New Staff 2015 Washington County A great place to live work and playtoday and tomorrow. Jamie Kreuser Kathy Woxland Pete Orput Pamela Gurnsey and Thomas Harmon