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Commissioner: County Attorney threatens lawsuit

Tim Scannell. Photo: MPR
Tim Scannell. Photo: MPR

Cook County Commissioner Sue Hakes reported in her blog Wednesday night that County Attorney Tim Scannell has threatened to sue the county after the courthouse shooting in December 2011 that left him wounded.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that Hakes, District 3 commissioner, said the board’s attorney, Dyan Ebert, suggested at the regular meeting Tuesday that members go into a closed session to discuss the threat.

Hakes said Ebert told the board that a lawsuit could be imminent and they needed to discuss settlement or strategy options.
Scannell was shot three times in his office by criminal defendant Daniel Schlienz shortly after Schlienz was found guilty of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Scannell has been embattled lately after it was revealed last fall that he was having a romantic relationship with a 17-year-old girl and her parents filed for a restraining order against him. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was asked to investigate.

Hakes reported in her blog that the meeting Tuesday lasted more than eight hours. It included a lengthy discussion on courthouse security and Hakes wrote that the board left it up to Sheriff Mark Falk to come up with a security plan.

The board ultimately authorized Falk to obtain a used scanning machine from the FBI office in Duluth. If it was no longer available or operable, the county would need to purchase one. Hakes reported a part-time officer will be hired to staff the machine.