Skip to main content

Ramsey County sheriff, county manager quarrel over civil unrest funding

Sheriff Bob Fletcher has been in a dispute with the county manager over the reimbursement.
Bob Fletcher

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher is asking the board of commissioners for $750,000 in reimbursements to cover costs associated with the recent civil unrest.

Fletcher’s request comes after he stated the county manager, Ryan O’Connor, has refused to support the reimbursement, which would cover personnel costs from the county’s response to civil unrest between Jan. 1 and April 16.

In a statement released Friday, Fletcher accused O'Connor of trying to "defund law enforcement" by now paying for the additional costs, something he says is "truly shameful."

“Protecting citizens, protesters, individual rights, property, and government services are complex tasks requiring an adequate complement of trained law enforcement officers. These efforts have a cost associated with them," Fletcher said.

A statement from Fletcher said that O’Connor did not support the reimbursement during a court-mediated session on Thursday.

But Ramsey County spokesperson John Siqveland told the Pioneer Press that any budget shortcomings from the Sheriff’s Office comes down to decisions made by Fletcher.

“The sheriff’s office controls an annual budget of $62 million,” Siqveland said. “It appears Sheriff Fletcher is having difficulty understanding how to manage it.”

Fletcher also pointed to past budget cuts to the Sheriff’s Office budget, including $1.175M last fall.

“Last year the Sheriff proposed $550,000 be added to the 2021 budget. Not only did the County Manager not approve the request, he instead recommended a $1,175,000 budget cut while knowing the likelihood of civil unrest was extremely high,” a release from Fletcher read.

But Siqveland again pushed back, telling the Pioneer Press that all areas of county government had to handle cuts in 2021 in order to balance the budget after a turbulent pandemic year.

“All areas of the county organization are expected to professionally manage resources effectively, efficiently and nimbly on behalf of Ramsey County taxpayers,” Siqveland said.

Costs associated with civil unrest this year included resources used during the inauguration of President Joe Biden as well as in Brooklyn Center following the police killing of Daunte Wright earlier this month, with the sheriff's office among the agencies called in to provide support.

Fletcher said he anticipates his office will incur further costs associated with civil unrest this year.

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners will consider Fletcher’s request on May 18. 

Next Up

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

rep nolan west mn house

MN rep. says he was 'assaulted' at activist group's public meeting

The Republican said a man grabbed his arms and yanked him from the room.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 12.56.52 PM

What were the 'bizarre things' seen in Minnesota's sky?

The mysterious streaks were not UFOs and they weren't pieces of an asteroid.

icicles, freezing weather, cold weather

Booming noises in the night could be frost quakes

The loud sounds are most likely to happen during the middle of the night.

coronavirus, coronavirus test, covid-19

Free COVID testing site to open in St. Paul for 3 weeks

The federal testing site comes as demand for testing remains high.

Reyel Simmons photo 1 - complaint - crop

MN TikToker accused of faking federal agent life pleads guilty

He told his 10,000 followers he was a Homeland Security agent — authorities say it was a lie.

Wilf

Report: Vikings request second interview with 2 GM candidates

Ryan Poles of the Chiefs and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Browns.

Amaya Battle

Hopkins takes on No. 1 team in the country on ESPNU Friday

The game will feature a pair of top recruits in the Class of 2022.

st. paul federation of educators - teachers

Educators in Minneapolis, St. Paul could strike amid contract negotiations

Teachers and support staff are demanding smaller class sizes, mental health support and better pay.

turtinen two harbors

MN mayor in hot water for hawking $400M underwater hotel plan

The city council called a special meeting to discuss the mayor's public comments.

Related

Bob Fletcher

New 'public service' charter school backed by Ramsey Co. Sheriff to open

Efforts to open the school were spearheaded in part by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

police lights

Ramsey Co. sheriff issues warning to residents amid rise in carjackings

It's an issue that's been plaguing the entire metro area.

black bear

Sheriff: Numerous bear sightings in the north metro

Ramsey County has had quite a few bear sightings of late.

Body camera conference.

'Symbol of trust': Ramsey Co. sheriff rolls out body cams

It's the third largest Minnesota law enforcement agency to do so.

USPS packages

Two Ramsey County men sentenced in mail theft scheme

Sonny Vang Xiong was sentenced to three years in prison, while Davis Her was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

Sheriff: Possibly 'additional victims' of serial sexual assault suspect

Authorities want to talk to anyone who's had contact with the suspect.