For a Faribault County jailer, it’s not the first time they have been mentioned in an investigation.
Chief Deputy Scott Adams tells Tripleanews.com the Sheriff’s Department sought an internal investigation following release of a report involving alleged misconduct by a Blue Earth police officer more than five years ago.
Adams would not comment on the investigation, however, says details of findings and whether disciplinary action was taken could be obtained through a data request.
Tripleanews.com has contacted Sheriff Mike Gormley for information that can be made public.
In 2014, former police officer Chad Bonin served a three-day suspension without pay for failing to report an accident involving his squad car in a timely manner and riding in a car where alcohol was being consumed.
An Albert Lea Police Department detective, who conducted the investigation, says Bonin contacted a deputy on duty around 10:45 p.m. on April 20 and told him his squad car was involved in an accident at a Blue Earth residence.
Because of the deputy’s location, Bonin decided to call deputy DJ Bullerman to write up the accident report.
Bonin told Bullerman that Tara Sunken, a jailer at the Sheriff’s Department, backed into his squad car with her GMC Yukon. Damage to the car, according to the police chief, was $3,000.
It is not clear whether Bonin’s vehicle was parked at the end of the driveway and partially in the street or in the driveway.
The report says when Bullerman ran a computer check on Sunken’s driver’s license he discovered it was suspended on Feb. 26 for not paying a traffic fine. According to state records, her license was reinstated on April 29.
Bonin claims that Bullerman made a statement to the effect, “it happened on private property, right” and that the deputy also commented that if both vehicles were in the driveway he was not going to worry about the driving after suspension.
Under state law, a person does not need a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle on private property. If one’s license has been suspended, revoked or canceled, however, law forbids operating a vehicle anywhere in the state including private property.
Sunken also has been mentioned during the investigation of four teens charged in the assault of a football teammate.
In June, Adams contacted the County Attorney’s office after learning she was named in a court document prior to a restitution hearing for a co-defendant convicted in the assault.
According to court papers, the mother of a defendant texted her husband and told him that Sunken warned a co-defendant’s mother that the cops were going to get a warrant for his cell phone.
Also, the victim’s father says his son admitted in a written statement that he and a defendant charged in the assault went to Sunken’s home to get alcohol to take back to a house party in Winnebago where the beating occurred.
The Sheriff’s Department has yet to receive any transcripts or information from the County Attorney’s office.