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Internal Investigation Of Pine County Sheriff’s Office Reveals Possible Misconduct, Missing Firearms

Thursday, January 26th, 2012 at 10:18 am

Sheriff Cole will answer questions regarding these matters on Monday, January 30th at 0900 hrs during a press conference in the PCSO training room. (Enter at the PCSO public entrance)

During the past year the Pine County Sheriff’s Office has conducted eleven Internal Investigations involving 15 Sheriff’s Office employees. These investigations were in response to both internal and citizen complaints alleging misconduct. Reported allegations include: Failure to follow established PCSO Policies and Orders, Failure to perform assigned duties, Sexual Harassment,Domestic Violence, mishandling of property under the control of the PCSO, Excessive Force and Abuse of Authority.

Included in these; is an ongoing investigation focusing on the accountability of firearms in the custody of the Pine County Sheriff’s Office. Sparked by citizen complaints of firearms not being properly returned to their rightful owners, an internal audit was initiated by Sheriff Cole shortly after taking office in January of 2011. It found that access control and book keeping measures inplace since 2001 were not in compliance with state mandated standards. It was further determined that during the period from 2008 to early 2011, twelve firearms documented to be in the custody of the PCSO are missing.

The Firearms investigation is still ongoing at this time. Numerous control measures have been implemented to enhance accountability of all property, and ensure PCSO property accountability procedures meet or exceed state standards. All of the above investigations have produced disciplinary actions ranging from oral and written reprimands up to and including termination from employment.

The Pine County Sheriff will not tolerate the misconduct of employees and expects all employees of the PCSO to meet or exceed the standards set forth upon taking office in 2011. The actions of the Sheriff over this past year has made it clear that all representatives of the Pine County Sheriff’s Office are to conduct themselves beyond reproach both on and off duty. The Sheriff will make every effort to contact the rightful owners of the missing Firearms and make right these wrongs.

In the midst of these acts of misconduct by only a few, 2011 saw many acts of bravery and heroism by many other honest and honorable employees of the PCSO. Numerous life saving awards and medals of commendations will be awarded at a ceremony in the coming weeks to honor the great work and sacrifice of those Employees who choose to do the right thing. In the near future a press release will announce this awards ceremony and we encourage all members of the media and public to be there to affirm and recognize these positive examples of “Serving and Protecting” the citizens of Pine County.

17 Comments

  1. Total Dismay 01/27/12 at 9:33am

    Check out the video on Kare 11 news…..

    www.kare11.com/news/article/958755/14/Misconduct-allegations-leveled-at-Pine-County-Sheriffs-Dept-

  2. Not Surprised 01/27/12 at 12:40pm

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the local barber was also a “former commissioner” – apparently his own words from this news release can also be linked to him – “the voters must have thought something, because the former Commissioner of Dist 2 in Pine County lost the election. So, they must have felt there was a need for a change. See below…….

    Former Commissioner Ed Montbriand said on Thursday that people in his downtown Pine City barber shop “think the Sheriff wants to make this run like a Minneapolis Department, metro, and it is not a metro area.”

    Montbriand said he had had no complaints about the department during his term on the Board, which ended in 2010, but noted the change of department head in 2011.

    “[The voters] must have thought something, because the former Sheriff [Mark Mansavage] lost the election. So, they must have felt there was a need for a change,” said Montbriand.

    I decided to google Mr. Montbriand and this is what comes up…..

    mn.gov/oah/images/032522301-Pangerl-finalreport.pdf

    Apparently, he must have been part of the “good ole boys” club as well. Therefore, it isn’t surprising AT ALL that he would state “there were NO complaints about the sheriffs department during his time in office. Perhaps this same news reporter should take another visit to the local barber shop and question Mr. Montbriand about his campaign violations, civil penalties and involvement with the sheriffs department scandal.

  3. Citizen of Pine City 01/28/12 at 4:44pm

    A new sheriff with an ax to grind. The citizens of this county have been provided excellent service under Mark Mansavage and his department. The missing guns were probably misplaced by the new sheriff. He doesn’t have my vote next time around. He has weakened the department and have left the citizens of Pine County in a vulnerable position. The citizens of Pine County need to get together to vote this guy out at the next election.

  4. Indeed 01/30/12 at 7:22am

    Just curious Citizen of Pine City, what about the other allegations? Is sexual harassment acceptable to you? How about domestic violence? Are you going to turn a blind eye towards that, by stating that its only about the missing guns. It’s quite obvious that there are some serious issues within the County. I would rather see these issues come to light now by Sheriff Cole conducting internal investigations than the County facing litigation.

  5. lib minded Hinckleyite 01/30/12 at 9:20am

    Note that most of these allegations are regarding actions that had to have taken place during Mansavage’s reign, and that the investigation into it is taking place during Sheriff Cole’s first year. As for firearms going missing during the early part of Cole’s term, isn’t it possible that they actually went missing during Mansavage’s term and Cole is actually on the ball enough to look into it right away? To all the people who seem to think he’s running this county like a big metro police department, look at all the issues we have from the prior years of running this law enforcement like a hick country Barney Fife-type of set up. Change is always difficult, but from where I stand I’m liking it! We now see deputies on a frequent basis actually PATROLLING, not b.s.ing with each other through open windows or in the back of Tobies. I for one feel safer now that we have a sheriff who’s not afraid to make changes for the better, and to seriously look into allegations of misconduct by his own officers, instead of just covering it up or ignoring it like Mansavage used to do! Cole will get my vote again, that’s for sure.

  6. PINE CITY RESIDENT 01/31/12 at 8:59am

    I believe the new sheriff is more like Barney-Fife than what it used to be under the former sheriff. How do we know those guns went missing under Mansavage? We only have the new sheriff’s word for it.
    I don’t trust Sheriff Cole one bit.

  7. lib minded Hinckleyite 02/1/12 at 9:25am

    Think about it, Pine City Resident, if the guns went missing under Cole’s watch why would he bother investigating it? He could’ve done the same thing Mansavage used to do–ignore it or cover it up deeper. Do you really think that just because you didn’t hear about this kind of stuff happening under the former regime that it didn’t happen? People need to quit acting like ostriches and pull their heads out of the sand!

  8. PC MOM 02/1/12 at 3:04pm

    SO this Sheriff says anyhow… shouldn’t there be an independent investigation? I feel like he has an axe to grind.

  9. corruption for years 02/1/12 at 6:27pm

    I think the sheriffs department needs a shot in the arm, this couldnt be better for that drug and crime infested community. The department has been corrupt for years, well over 15-20 years. The Department has been riddled with drugs for years. The community is full of meth and crime. Thank god I do not live in that county anymore.

  10. Realist 02/1/12 at 8:28pm

    Dear Pine City Resident and Citizen of Pine City, I listened to the entire release on WCMP and like what I heard. “Lib Minded Hinckleyite” and “Indeed” are right, I also see more deputies PATROLLING. By the way, last time I checked, Corruption is NOT okay! I have seen postings from pine City resident before and wouldn’t be surprised if your first name isn’t ????….. well…. I think we all know who you really are. GET OVER IT! You are on the wrong side of this, there are no two ways about this! Other agencies were involved, did you hear “BCA?” I did!!!!! Yet you still stand up for Mansavage. Thanks sheriff Cole, we appreciate your hard work and I apologize for the good old boys statements above, they simply don’t know any better.

  11. Unrealist 02/2/12 at 12:42pm

    No we all dont know who he really is. Who the F is he? Any feedback would be helpful.

  12. PCTAXPAYER 02/3/12 at 10:22am

    There are quite a few Pine City Residents… so, anyhow.
    The new Sheriff really likes to hear himself talk.

  13. Reality Bytes 02/3/12 at 5:19pm

    In my experience, the Sheriff and the Chief Deputy are also exceptionally good listeners. As a fellow PCTAXPAYER, I am completely satisfied with the improved professionalism of the deputies. I am also impressed with an administration that actually listens to the concerns of citizens and acts upon those concerns. Keep up the good work Sheriff Cole!

  14. The good ol' boys 02/3/12 at 7:55pm

    I thinks the good ol’ boys have made that community a horrible place to have kids and raise a family, these people are so ignorant and have kept pine city decades behind other communities. Just remember what former good ol’ boy endorsed mansavage, he was a corrupt sheriff himself and still is a bafoon. The city and county can do much better, and cole is on the right path.

  15. LIFELONG PC RESIDENT 02/7/12 at 8:02am

    Just so the sheriff is doing the job he is elected to do, that is all I care about. I hope he doesn’t have a hidden agenda. I’ve lived here all my life and I choose to live in Pine City- I’ve never had to worry about being treated wrong by the law enforcement before and I don’t expect to have that problem in the future. I just worry about someone having to prove himself. Good luck to all the new deputies sworn in and may God be with you as you patrol and put your lives on the line everyday for us citizens. Peace.

  16. Sarah K Haavisto 02/10/12 at 10:18pm

    I have a few thoughts in reference to Mr./Ms. “The good ol’ boys” and his/her enlightening comments. First of all, as a former resident, who lived my entire childhood and young adulthood in Pine County under the so called former “corrupt” Sheriff’s department, I believe I grew up in a wonderful, safe and honest place. I also believe I became an honest, successful adult because of the community and the people who were a vital part of it, namely, the Sheriff’s department. I must have faced insurmountable odds and somehow managed to come out alive in spite of having a “corrupt sheriff” and a “bafoon” (it is technically spelled buffoon)” for a father. As to who anyone endorses, that is his or her own choice and maybe try considering that a citizen of Pine County is just trying to choose the lesser of two evils (if that is his or her opinion). You speak of ignorance, and I have to wonder if you truly understand the meaning of the word. You are referring to a man who you must not know personally, who has nothing to do with these current allegations, and who you are insulting by calling him a former “good ol’ boy” and “corrupt”. That, to me, is ignorance. Please gain some intelligence and knowledge of a man before you make accusations. Trust me, I know this man and he may be a lot of things, but corrupt/buffoonish, he is not. He made that title of Sheriff his priority and life and did everything he could to do right by the people he served. Sarah Haavisto

  17. Heidi Rarick 02/11/12 at 1:29pm

    As I can see by the entry above me, Ms. Sarah Haavisto also feels the way that I do about some of the prior comments. Sheriff Haavisto is not part of the current “allegations” that Sheriff Cole has made, nor do I believe that he ever ran a corrupt office. I also believe that if there are citizens in Pine Co that have questions for our former Sheriff, he would be more than happy to discuss them with anyone. He was and is a very honorable man, who served his county and the people in it to the best of his abilities. I am approached often by people all over the county that tell me how they wish Sheriff Haavisto was still in office or share a story of how he helped them in some way. I realize that this does not make him a saint in anyway, but he is a good, honest and hard working man. He did his job well. Who he chose to endorse was just that — his choice, just as all of you made a choice when you went to the polls and voted. It does not mean that he knew everything that may or may not have happened in the former Sheriff’s office. He simply supported the man that he felt was best in his opinion.

    I also find it very offensive that people can post anything that they want to on this website without giving their name…very easy to be brave and say things when no one knows who you are. At least in the Pine City Pioneer, you have to sign your name.

    Please educate yourself in these matters. We all have the duty to search out the facts, especially when it comes time to vote.

    Heidi Haavisto Rarick

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