Ramsey Co. attorney declines to investigate GOP recount fund

Citing jurisdictional issues, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi’s office said it will not investigate a special fund set up to pay for recount costs associated with Tom Emmer’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

“Our office is not the appropriate office to act upon your request to undertake a criminal forgery investigation and is presently without jurisdiction to take any action with regard to alleged violations of the state’s campaign finance and practice laws,” wrote First Assistant Ramsey County Attorney John Kelly in a letter to Common Cause Minnesota, the group that filed the complaint against Count Them All Properly.

The St. Paul Police Department is in charge of investigating forgery crimes. Further, the Ramsey County Attorney cannot investigate alleged violations of unfair campaign practices until a complaint has been filed and disposed of by the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings, the letter explains.

Count Them All Properly was set up on the advice of the GOP’s lawyers in early December 2010 to help former Republican candidate Tom Emmer win the recount, according to former Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Tony Sutton.

Common Cause believes the fund should be investigated for making illegal in-kind contributions to a candidate and a political party and for forgery.

Here’s the response from the Ramsey Count Attorney’s office:

RCAO Letter to MN Common Cause 5 25 12

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