No charges for violating “executive order”?

Local News

It appears a person who hosted a rural Winnebago party that drew hundreds will not be charged with violating a coronavirus pandemic “executive order.”

“My office has broad discretion with regards to whom to prosecute and for what offense,” says Kathryn Karjala, Faribault County Attorney.

Cole Klinker, 21, of Winnebago faces a charge of gross misdemeanor contributing to delinquency of a minor.

Court documents show that no additional charges have been filed against Klinker and that a jury trial has been set for Feb. 10-12.

Karjala say the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys, “prohibit me from making extrajudicial statements about the cases my office is currently prosecuting.”

Early last month, the Sheriff’s Department gave the County Attorney results of their investigation on whether the governor’s executive order issued in March was followed.

Under executive order 20-74, events held at private homes are subjected to social gatherings limits of 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.

Authorities responding to an anonymous tip estimate there were more than 200 underage drinkers from Faribault County and neighboring southern Minnesota counties at the August party.

More than 25 citations for underage drinking were issued, according to authorities, including six to juveniles.

If convicted, Klinker faces a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $3,000 fine.

Violation of an “executive order” is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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