Court employee pleads guilty to disorderly conduct

Local News

An employee in the Faribault County District Court administrator’s office has been placed on probation.

Carla Sue Lawrence, 52, of Blue Earth was initially charged with obstruction of legal process last March. The charge was later amended to disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor.

Lawrence pleaded guilty on July 6 before Third Judicial District Judge Carol Hanks of Waseca County and received a stay of adjudication.

According to a court complaint, Deputy Brittney Gehrking responded to a 911 call from a 40-year-old man who said he had been assaulted at a rural residence on March 17.

A number of individuals over age 21 and under, says the complaint, were at the party being held in a shed.

When Gehrking arrived at the scene many of the adults expressed confusion as to why the deputy was there and reportedly told her that nothing happened.

Gehrking left and with the help of Blue Earth police located the alleged assault victim at his home.

A police officer interviewing the man, the complaint says, noticed his face was bleeding in several places, his hands were also bleeding and a scuff mark on his neck that appeared to be from a shoe.

The man described the two men who allegedly assaulted him and was then transported to United Hospital District emergency room for medical treatment.

Gehrking and other deputies returned to the rural residence to try and find the assault suspect, however, no one at the party cooperated with authorities.

The property owner asked Gehrking and another deputy to step into an office in the shed because he wanted to talk. Lawrence reportedly interrupted and demanded they speak in the presence of all party-goers.

At one point Lawrence exited the shed, the complaint says, because she needed to use the bathroom. But, a deputy told her she could not leave and threatened to arrest her for obstruction of legal process.

Lawrence reportedly told the deputy she knew her rights and waited for Gehrking to escort her.

After returning to the shed, Lawrence reportedly harassed officers by yelling at them and demanded they all leave.

Court documents say that a party-goer eventually told authorities where the assault suspect was hiding in the shed.

On March 18, Gehrking interviewed Lawrence at the courthouse, where she is employed as the deputy court administrator.

Lawrence again told Gehrking that she didn’t see anything and had no idea what started it or who was involved.

“Honestly, (I) can’t even tell you who was there. It was just commotion,” Lawrence told the deputy.

Lawrence was placed on six months unsupervised probation through Waseca County; fined $110; must have a chemical dependency evaluation and follow its recommendations; have no same or similar charges; and write a apology to the Blue Earth Police Department.

If she successfully completes probation, the charge will be dismissed without further court action.

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