Letter: Campaign tactics are misleading

Negative campaign tactic are misleading the public and the real facts are important
Challengers in the race for county attorney are presenting “facts” to the community that are misleading and the public deserves the truth. As a 7 ½ year veteran Assistant Mille Lacs County Attorney, I see what Jan Jude and her office do for the community every day.
Budget: The County Attorney’s budget is consistent with the rest of the County growth as all department budgets have increased in the past ten years.   The 2014 Public Safety Expense budget on the county website notes the Attorney’s budget is only 17% of the budget, with the Sheriff’s Department demanding 72%.  Public safety expenses make up just under half of the County’s entire budget.  The County’s 2013 and 2012 budget reports show the public safety budget remaining consistent, with the Attorney’s budget a small percentage of the County’s overall safety expenditures.
Crime Statistics: Over 50% of the cases handled by the Attorney’s office are referred by the Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department in the Vineland area, only 1.6% of the County’s total geographic area.  To evaluate our work without Tribal data ignores the tireless efforts our office devotes to this area.  In 2013, Mille Lacs County had 5,336 reported crimes while Benton County had 1,223 and Isanti County had 1,861.
Conviction Rates:  The Mille Lacs County Comprehensive Plan completed with a professional planning consultant lists conviction rates for our office at 74%, with Benton County at 66% and Morrison County at 64%.  In 2014 alone, I have delivered one felony jury trial conviction and two felony convictions with Defendant’s pleading guilty during trial. I am only one of five jury trial attorneys producing similar results.
From 2012 to 2013, child abuse crimes reported by the Tribal police reduced by 43% and domestic violence crimes dropped by 30%.  We focused on protecting children and families and our aggressive approach is working- now is not the time to abandon our leader.  Vote Jan Jude on August 12 and November 4.

Melissa Saterbak, Foreston

Editor’s note: Saterbak is an assistant attorney in the Mile Lacs County Attorney Office.

  • Dustin

    I agree. In campaigns facts are often distorted. Similar to where there was an underage drinking party hosted on Jude’s property last year. I read in a Minneapolis City Pages news article that a underage girl at the party told investigators she handed her keys directly to Jude as Jude didn’t want anyone driving if they were drinking. But the FACT is that Jude denies that exchange ever happened so luckily there were no charges filed or misconduct of a public official. Facts can be very deceiving.

  • MilacaMom

    Fact: Where is Jude in the courtroom? No where! Fact: If it weren’t for plea deals the majority of convictions would likely not stand/happen. Fact: Jude gives special treatment to those in her circle of friends/family. Fact: If I were to claim ignorance about alcohol consumption by minors on my property, it wouldn’t fly…Period! Fact: If one county attorney isn’t qualified/allowed to be on the job during the election & campaign, then neither should Jude. Fact: It is time for a change & hopefully a better outcome. Fact: I will be voting for Walsh – someone without current ties to the MLC system & hope for some true improvement in the way cases are handled & hopefully honest convictions & sentences (especially for the repeat offenders we see in the newspaper over & over again).

  • Don K

    I agree with almost everything you said MilacaMom! Unfortunately, Joe Walsh is now supported by Jude… I wonder what kind of deal the two of them made to pull off that questionable union. Mark Herzing has done some excellent work for the county and understands the direction that this county needs to move in. A vote for Joe might be a vote for Jan… A vote for Mark Herzing is a vote for a new start where the county gets to keep an experienced attorney with integrity.