After restraining order, Cook Co. Attorney makes apology

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Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell is apologizing to county residents after he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl, the Star Tribune reports.

Last week, a restraining order was issued against the 46-year-old attorney by the teen's parents after they were told he was in love with their daughter.

In a statement, Scannell calls the restraining order a "a personal matter" that did not involve his job as county attorney.

"However, I recognize that I have breached your trust, and I hope to repair that trust over time," the statement said. Scannell plans to stay on the job.

The Duluth News Tribune says Scannell was a family friend who gave the girl guitar lessons and coached her in a summer tennis program.

In September, the girl's mother said the attorney admitted his relationship with the teen had become physical with kissing and touching. He claimed there was nothing illegal about their interaction because Minnesota's age of consent is 16.

The Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk has asked the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to investigate Scannell, citing a conflict of interest.

The newspaper says no petition has been filed yet to remove Scannell from office.

Scannell made headlines in December of last year after he was wounded in a high-profile courthouse shooting in Grand Marais. He was shot right after prosecuting a case against a man who was involved in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old.

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