So far, county billed nearly $70,000

Local News

If you are looking for information, just ask and you shall receive.

It took only two days for Darren Esser, Faribault County auditor/treasurer/coordinator, to supply the information requested by

Former assistant County Attorney LaMar Piper has been paid $69,645 since being hired following the arrest of four teens charged in the beating of a former Blue Earth Area football player.

A list of vouchers submitted by Piper show he has received 29 payments for his hours of service through May 21, 2019.

With the exception of one case, says Esser, all of Piper’s work has been related to the October 2017 assault that occurred during a party at a teammate’s home in Winnebago.

Piper’s part-time rate of $60 an hour is far less than the average going rate of $100 to $200 that attorneys can earn in small communities.

Faribault County board chairman Bill Groskreutz says although the unexpected costs weren’t part of the County Attorney’s budget, someone had to be hired to handle the additional work overload.

“We didn’t plan for this, how can you,” says Groskreutz. “Someone has to pay for it, to prosecute the cases.”

Although all four assault cases have been settled with convictions, legal costs will continue to rise.

Piper is still working on a perjury case involving one of the co-defendants and a restitution case in which parents of the victim are seeking financial damages from co-defendant Wyatt Tungland.

He also is reviewing investigation reports and transcripts surrounding the assault at the request of Chief Deputy Scott Adams.

After learning that jailer Tara Sunken reportedly was mentioned in court documents, Adams contacted County Attorney Kathryn Karjala-Curtis.

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