Despite being short-staffed and in turmoil, a Faribault County commissioner says the Veterans Services Office (VSO) is functioning as usual.
County Board chair John Roper says the county has about 350 veterans and those seeking assistance will be helped.
“As far as I know, the veterans office is running very smoothly right now,” he says. “We’re serving veterans and their needs are being met.”
Roper says Jenna Schmidtke, who was hired last September as an administrative assistant, has been promoted to a temporary VSO officer.
“She’s been handling things since early or mid-June,” he says. “If she needs help she can turn to other area veterans offices, like in Albert Lea and Mankato.”
Last month, County Attorney Troy Timmerman confirmed that a complaint has been filed against Dave Hanson, an officer and head of the Veterans Services Office.
Whether Hanson is on leave with or without pay is not public information, says Timmerman, because there is still a pending investigation.
Hanson’s woes came on the heels of a VSO officer fired last March for violating four county personnel policies that included offensive conduct, harassment and violence.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, commissioners went behind closed doors to again discuss what Timmerman describes as pending litigation regarding the VSO.