County attorney releases probe findings

Local News

The Faribault County Attorney’s Office has released investigation findings of a complaint filed against the former Veterans Services Office head officer.

The move comes following an order issued by Watonwan County Judge Darci Benz denying David Hanson’s civil lawsuit to keep the information from being made public.

Hanson filed a suit when former County Attorney Troy Timmerman, at the request of, identified data that could be released even though the investigation was stopped after he resigned.

In e-mails to Hanson’s attorney and an attorney for the county, Michelle Soldo of Soldo Consulting, P.C., in Woodbury summarizes allegations that Hanson:

  • engaged in conduct demonstrating poor personal and professional boundaries;
  • caused others to fear for their personal and physical safety;
  • violated county policy prohibiting weapons on county property and in his possession during work-related travel;
  • interfered with law enforcement efforts to ensure the safety and security of the Veterans Services Office and staff;
  • hindered the rights of others to report their work-related concerns;
  • and led to staff turnover.

Hanson also is accused of demeaning and discourteous behavior with regard to some veterans his office was in charge of serving.

“Witnesses consistently and credibly expressed that they are fearful of retaliation on the part of Mr. Hanson, independently and consistently citing his propensity to engage in paranoid, angry and volatile behavior leading them to fear for their personal safety and the safety of others,” Soldo wrote.

In her interviews, witnesses told Soldo that Hanson was incessant with texting and calling staff during and after work hours and he would admonish staff who did not promptly respond.

In one instance, Hanson made an unscheduled visit to a Twin Cities training site of an employee who did not respond to his text message and phone calls.

Hanson reportedly would make uninvited and unscheduled after-work and late-night visits to employee homes.

In the e-mails, County Attorney Kathryn Karjala-Curtis blacked out the names of county employees to protect their identity.

One person interviewed told Soldo that Hanson made repeated offers to go an employee’s home and make dinner for them.

Another person says Hanson reportedly would make sexually suggestive remarks about an employee.

In Soldo’s report, Hanson is said to have had angry outbursts in the office and displayed paranoid behavior.

The report says Hanson would make remarks that when terrorists or law enforcement come to remove him from the office he can and is ready to take them out and “if they come, save the radio.”

At times, Hanson was accused of traveling to and from work-related meetings in his personal vehicle in which he kept a Glock handgun and he showed staff where he kept it in the middle console.

Twice he hid a loaded handgun in the car of an employee, says the report, without their permission and knowledge, endangering those who rode in the vehicle.

“(He) sent a text message to a staff member that if an employee does not cooperate with them, he will take the employee for a ride in his car where he showed the staff member he keeps a Glock handgun,” says the report.

Hanson allegedly disconnected security cameras law enforcement installed in the Veterans Services Office when he and staff expressed concern about them.

The report says the Veterans Services Office had high turnover of staff due to Hanson’s micro-managing, refusal to train, taking credit for the work of others, and halting initiatives and work efforts.

Some interviewed told Soldo that Hanson gave a verbal directive that staff are not to report their work-related concerns to anyone but him.

Staff were told that they were hated by some county employees and that law enforcement thought they were “white trash.”

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