Two brothers have been charged with setting fire to the historic Eagan Town Hall in 2013, in what was an apparent revenge attack against the City.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced Thursday that first-degree arson charges have been brought against Michael Duane Damron (aka Wade Duane Arvidson), 52, and his brother Wynn Donald Arvidson, 50, of Prior Lake.
They are accused of starting the fire on Sept. 8, 2013. It caused $340,000 worth of damage to the building, built in 1914, which is only now nearing the end of its restoration project.
The criminal complaint reveals that Damron had a long-running feud with Eagan officials that dates back to 2006, when the Damron/Arvidson family was investigated in connection with a string of thefts in metro suburbs.
The family unsuccessfully sued the cities of Eagan and Inver Grove Heights for $12 million after accusing police of taking personal items of theirs during the course of the investigation.
Damron had also written several threatening letters to city officials and had a history of vandalism against "entities he is upset with," the press release notes.
They were linked with the arson, the complaint says, because of feces found on clumps of toilet paper near a hole cut in a fence near to the Town Hall. This proved to be a DNA match with Wynn Arvidson.
Further evidence was gathered by police this year when Damron was serving a sentence for another crime, with recordings of phone conversations he had with his mother revealing they discussed statues of limitations and DNA being collected during that time.
In the conversation, he referred to "that other thing in Eagan with Wynnie's poop thing."
"This arson of one of our city’s historic landmarks was a significant crime in our community and we are pleased that these criminal charges have now been filed," Eagan Police Chief Jim McDonald said.
Wynn Arvidson made his first court appearance on Thursday, with his bail set at $350,000 without conditions. Damron remains in custody on an unrelated matter.