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.
Publish date:
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

boys volleyball

Girls wrestling sanctioned as MSHSL activity; boys volleyball 2 votes shy

There will be section and state tournaments for girls-only wrestling next school year.

P.J. Fleck

Gopher players defend PJ Fleck after WCCO-TV report

"The public has made our statement," a U of M spokesperson said.

vaccine, covid

Twin Cities police investigating COVID vaccine thefts in viral videos

Videos of both incidents were recorded and shared online.

Guthrie theater

Guthrie to reopen to the public in July, shows resume this fall

The theater has been closed to the public for more than a year.

Target - good and gather plant based

Target is launching more than 30 new plant-based grocery products

All are part of the company's hit Good & Gather brand.

Roller Garden

Roller Garden to auction off skates, signs, arcade games and more

Many items from the beloved Roller Garden will be up for auction next month.

joseph ness booking photo

Charges: Chanhassen man fired hundreds of rounds, killing his sister

Six rifles, including AR-15 and AK-47 variants, were found inside the home.

police lights

Woman robbed and assaulted at gunpoint in Waite Park, police say

The incident occurred on Sunday at around 11:30 p.m.

pixabay - marijuana cannabis

Marijuana legalization: Minnesota House to vote Thursday

The "historic" vote on the House floor is set for Thursday afternoon.


black bear

Sheriff: Numerous bear sightings in the north metro

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

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.

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.

Skyline Towers, St. Paul

Coronavirus: Sheriff raises 'super accelerator' alarm over St. Paul high-rise

He's calling for donations of homemade masks for vulnerable community members.

Screen Shot 2021-02-10 at 10.34.50 AM

Missing: 12-year-old Ramsey County boy 'may be in danger'

He was last seen Monday, Feb. 8 at a gas station in Shoreview.

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

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

Screen Shot 2019-10-15 at 3.09.30 PM

Ramsey Co. Sheriff looks to ID suspect in 3 sex assaults, home invasion

The man is believed to be the suspect in all reported incidents.