Former employee fighting data release

Local News

A data request by involving an investigation costing taxpayers $6,334 has landed the County Attorney’s Office in Faribault County District Court.

Several weeks ago, asked County Attorney Troy Timmerman to decide if findings involving a complaint filed against former Veterans Services Office head officer David Hanson could be made public.

Timmerman says documents responsive to the request have been identified.

“However, I have been served with legal process seeking to enjoin me from releasing the data,” he says. “When the court rules, the county will comply with the ruling.”

Hanson’s attorney, Jeffrey Schiek of Bloomington, filed court papers on Dec. 15.

In the court documents, Timmerman also is listed as a defendant and hearing the case will be Judge Douglas Richards.

Timmerman in the past has said the investigation was stopped when Hanson resigned and agreed to a separation agreement that paid him more than $36,000.

Because Hanson submitted his resignation before the investigation was completed, Timmerman said that release of any findings was not necessary.

However, under the state’s Data Practices law:

“If a public official resigns or is terminated from employment while the complaint or charge is pending, all data relating to the complaint or charge are public, unless access to the data would jeopardize an active investigation or reveal confidential sources.”

In a county with a population of more than 5,000, a “public official” is defined as a managers, chiefs, heads or directors of departments, divisions, bureaus, or boards, and any equivalent positions.

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