State Patrol officer declared unreliable witness by a county attorney

Sgt. Sylvia Maurstad must have made some enemies in the Roseau, Minn., area over the years.

She’s been declared an unreliable witness, Forum News reports.

Roseau County Attorney Karen Foss says any testimony she gives should be taken into question. In which case? Any case.

Ostensibly, it comes from a 2015 case in which an impaired driver case was thrown out because the trooper lacked probable cause for the stop.

But it sounds like things go far deeper. Foss asked the State Patrol to transfer the sergeant out of the area.

“Sgt. Maurstad is a valued and dedicated member of our agency who, as far as I am aware, works hard on a daily basis to keep our roads safe,” Col. Matthew Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, wrote in response. “Your decision has a great impact on not only Sgt. Maurstad’s ability to do her job effectively, but the State Patrol as a whole.”

Rick Rone, mayor of Baudette, Minn., says he’s been fielding complaints “for years,” the paper said.

In a Facebook post two years ago, the State Patrol said the sergeant goes above and beyond the call of duty in her job:

Sgt. Sylvia Maurstad was assisting with a tow when she observed a vehicle drive past at a very slow speed with a long line of traffic backed up behind it. She recognized the senior driver and knew his driver’s license was canceled. Sgt. Maurstad located the vehicle and driver at a local café and told the man he could not be driving.

The gentleman asked to speak with her alone and explained that he did not have any food at home and came to the café to have breakfast. After further conversation, Sgt. Maurstad drove the man to the bank to get enough money to pay for his meal, to DVS to find options for his driver’s license, and to the county social services office to meet with a case manager. She took him home, stopping on the way to buy him a few groceries. After dropping him off, she arranged with a local senior service agency to provide transportation and assistance with day-to-day activities.

Maurstad has been with the State Patrol for more than 20 years.