East Grand Forks Police destroy journalists hard drive – refuse to compensate

Police Chief and City Attorney using taxpayer money to defend personal misconduct?

by Timothy Charles Holmseth

On December 14, 2012 the East Grand Forks Police Department  persuaded a Ninth Minnesota District Judge they needed to enter my (Timothy Charles Holmseth) home-office  and seize my computer and hard-drive.

The Affidavit for the Warrant did not allege a crime had  been committed. Rather – it stated the hard-drive needed to be ‘secured’ to  prevent me from ‘destroying evidence’.

In reality – it was the City that would soon attempt to ‘destroy evidence’.

The District Judge granted the City Police a limited Warrant  that allowed them to seize and hold items. When the police entered the premises,  the computer was turned on and functioning. The Administrator’s activity log shows the  computer was highly functional and used on a daily basis.

Attorney Bruce Ringstrom, Sr., Ringstrom Law Office, Detroit Lakes, negotiated on my behalf with East  Grand Forks City Attorney Ronald Galstad. I agreed to withdraw my request to  the District Judge for an investigation into official misconduct by Galstad and threats made to have  police officers lie on the witness stand if I insisted on a jury trial. The threats were passed to me by  Attorney Michael LaCouirsiere on behalf of Galstad.

In return for the withdrawal of my complaint, my hard-drive  and property was to be given back. Of course – I was not charged with any crime  because I had not committed one.

On April 26, 2013 the equipment was returned to me per the  order of Honorable Tamara Yon. The equipment was returned by Detective Aeisso  Schrage, EGFPD.  

Wires had been moved around inside the computer and the hard-drive  would not function. The damaged property was chronicled in real time through  emails from me to Attorney Ringstrom; as well as photographs. The equipment has been analuyzed and assessed by specialists.

On August 12, 2013 Police Chief Michael Hedlund responded to  a complaint I filed on the matter. He advised me the City Police Department  would not make me whole. Hedlund stated the City wasn’t responsible. His letter  was copied to City Attorney Ronald Galstad.

This latest action by City officials creates even more questions about the shady behavior and underworld attitudes of some big fish in a shrinking pond.

Would Attorney Ronald Galstad and Police Chief Michael  Hedlund really be foolish enough to underestimate  an experienced investigative journalist, and try to destroy evidence linking them  to criminal activity?

Have local officials been in communication with organized crime from out of state? Did Lt. Deteceive Rodney Hajicek commit a crime by using his official position to assist a charity fraud  from Fort Lauderdale called Xentel, Inc.

Are Police Chief Michael Hedlund and City Attorney Ronald Galstad drawing the City of East Grand Forks deeper and deeper into a legal quagmire that is actually comprised of their own personal troubles?

Is the local taxpayer flipping the bill to keep a few local officials out of trouble, which they created on their own?

It appears time will tell.

Several important matters are presently before a District Judge, and recent developments indicate the court system and State of Minnesota is really no longer amused.

Ronald Galstad and Michael LaCoursiere, public defender,  presently face judicial review by the Office of Lawyers Professional  Responsibility after a detailed complaint and affidavit was forwarded to the  Director of OLPR by Honorable Yon.

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