However, making life more complicated is the fact some of these "Old Majority" do still retain board seats on the "New Majority" led board, such as Ben Myers, attorney at law. Also, the "Old Majority" considers itself to be the actual JACC board, with the "New Majority" mere imposters and interlopers. As if THAT wasn't complicated enough, the "Old Majority" has a lawsuit in the court system against--among MANY others--the City Attorney's Office for its role in daring to give recognition to the "New Majority" board members. So it gets kind of complicated for the City Attorney's Office to prosecute anybody while they themselves are tied up in a lawsuit, no matter how frivolous, ill-founded and wrongheaded.
Just because a buffalo is dull, wounded and extremely cross-eyed doesn't mean you can ignore the fact he's charging in your direction.
McCandless' email set off a storm of discussion, and I was lucky to receive all or at least most of the email discussion in my ever-packed inbox, which is pretty much a pipeline to my blog.
I know readers want it. I know you do. Here it is...
After McCandless' original message, Police Chief Timothy Dolan emailed Peter W. Ginder, asking if Ginder had been "consulted" about this matter. Ginder said he hadn't been consulted "on this direct issue" though he was aware of the overall issues. Jim Moore (no relation to Jerry Moore, it would appear) is handling the JACC civil suit but has been "out for two weeks." Unknown if anyone has talked to the criminal division, said Ginder.
McCandless jumped right back in, saying, "I think Michael 'Kip' Browne talked to someone in criminal. The problem is that if this went to charging, it would be the County Attorney's case, not the City Attorney. The property taken is valued in the thousands of dollars, plus the financial records contain personnel information on all past employees, including their SSN's. Considering Jerry Moore's past associations with Tynessia Snoddy and Larry Maxwell, lord knows what he could do with the info."
"The criminal investigation," McCandless wrote, "was shut down within 24 hours of the incident and hasn't even been assigned to an investigator as far as I know. This, according to Lt. Rugels (sic, should be Rugel) was on orders of the City Attorney's Office. We need this investigated."
After this there was some cc'ing, some promise of getting back. McCandless fired off another email, as follows.
"We are still waiting for an investigation into the burglary which occurred after Jerry Moore was fired as the JACC Executive Director and Ben Myers was ousted as the Vice Chair. We have a more evidence (sic) and even a witness to the crime , but still no police investigation. Judge Porter has been pretty clear in his decision that the current JACC leadership is acting responsibly. Stealing the property of our organization is not legal and should be investigated and, if appropriate, charged.
"Since the City Attorney is not the charging body on a felony (last time I checked, Burglary (sic) and theft over $1000 was a felony) I can see no conflict of interesting in perusing this investigation. (Sic, "perusing") If I am wrong and the City feels there is a conflict, perhaps Hennepin County Sherriff's detectives would help us out in this matter. Please advise ASAP. We need our property back or the perpetrators held accountable."
At this point, 4th Precinct Commander Mike Martin said, "Ann, (sic) We are still waiting for a response from the City Attorney's Office about whether we can pursue this case or need to seek help from another agency. As soon as we hear from Jim Moore we will move forward."
Ah, but McCandless has heard this all before and she's on a roll. She fires back as follows:
"It's been three months since the burglary and one month since Judge Porter's decision. I'm afraid our patience is wearing thin. I cannot help but wonder if Linden Hills Neighborhood Assn or one of the other 'better' neighborhoods wouldn't get more response from the City. We need our equipment back or the people who stole it held responsible. I know it isn't your decision, Mike, but I'm tired of making excuses to my neighbors and fellow board members."
This talk of "Linden Hills" struck a nerve with Mike Martin, who responded as follows.
"Anne, We are doing everything we can to support you, but don't want to subject ourselves and the taxpayers to further liability without advice from the City Attorney's Office.
"We have sent on-duty officers to keep the peace at your meetings, our officers took the burglary report when the property was taken, we continue to provide extra patrol to the JACC house to prevent further thefts or vandalism, and we have supported you in fighting the Temporary Restraining Order. In return, we have been sued, we have depleted resources that could be used to address crime, two of my officers now have formal complaints on their records, and our officers have been maligned in the media. Now you take a shot at all of us by implying that you could get a better response if you lived in Linden Hills.
"My officers and I work on the Northside because we love it up here and believe the residents here deserve the best service. It won't do any of us any good to proceed without some good advice. We don't want to risk making the situation worse."
Anne McCandless--who knows very well what it's like to get sued by Ben Myers, but that doesn't actually silence her--fired back as follows:
"The support from the police has been great. I just wish the City Attorney would make a decision. This is dragging on and on and in the meantime, we are handicapped by not having a decent computer, any of our files, not even a decent printer, all of which are rumored to be in Ben Myers office. It just doesn't seem like it's such a huge decision for the City Attorney to make. Either let the police do their job or turn it over to the county.
"My remark about Linden Hills was referring to the perception of some sections of the city having more political clot at City Hall, (sic, probably means "clout at City Hall") not the police."
Finally, Jim Moore from the City Attorney's office answered and, though his response was hardly to the liking of McCandless, et al, he certainly did help to resolve where the issue stands, saying as follows:
"Ms. McCandless, I am sorry that it took me a while to get back to you on this issue, but if you have been reading the papers you see that I have been quite occupied with other cases since your original message was forwarded to me, and I wanted to make sure that I fully investigated the City's options before responding to you.
"I have discussed your request for a police investigation with numerous representatives of the Minneapolis Police Department. The overwhelming consensus is that this case is not the sort of matter that the MPD would ordinarily pursue with a criminal investigation. The dispute between the members of your organization and its equipment and papers is a civil, not criminal, matter. MPD does not investigate such matters. In fact, some MPD employees with whom I spoke recalled a similar incident at a local church occurring within the past few years that the MPD did not investigate."
(JNS asks: anybody have any idea what matter is being referenced here?)
"In addition, I am not clear what you would expect from a police investigation. Even if the missing equipment and papers could be recovered by MPD, they could not be released to your group absent a court determination of ownership. In short, the pending civil case in which you and the City are co-Defendants seems to be the perfect forum to address the issue.
"I hope that you would agree that, in light of the pending lawsuit and the conern that Plaintiffs would claim retaliation, the MPD would be ill-advised to conduct a criminal investigation into this matter if it is not the sort of a case that MPD would ordinarily investigate. Since I have concluded that this is not the sort of case that would ordinarily get investigated, I cannot advise the MPD to do so in this case."
At this point, JACC Treasurer Bob Hodson weighed in, as follows:
"Anne, Thanks for initiating this conversation. I am adding these emails to my 'Due Diligence' file. You know that my primary concern in this is the matter of personal identity and financial information stored on those computers and the risk of identity theft. I am especially concerned because of the alleged history of Jerry Moore and his close associates using stolen identities (as in the Maxwell case currently going through the courts) combined with Mr. Moore's likely access to those machines.
"I find it at least a bit surprising that the city attorney's office (or the county or the state) have shown no interest in comparing stolen or false identities used in Maxwell to information on the JACC machines, but maybe they don't see much of a need or risk on that point.
"In any case, since this email exchange has taken place, when the feds come knocking on our door (identity theft being a federal crime) asking to see what we have done in an effort to retrieve and re-secure the identity info, at least we can show them these emails along with the other information we have and send the feds on to the city attorney's office to ask them why nothing was done. Let it be on their heads.
"That being said, it may now be time for us to go to the federal authorities ourselves and at least have a conversation with them about this in relation to the identity theft risk and ask how they suggest we proceed. In spite of the odd and strangely defensive response from Michael Martin, I do not believe it is the MPD holding this up at all. So it seems now that all roads lead to the city attorney's office on this one, to the detriment and frustration of both JACC and MPD.
"It al (sic) seems that the city attorney's office is choosing to do nothing. While I acknowledge that they may have their reasons for a course of inaction, I have little patience for that brand of palace intrigue. Further, I do not believe that JACC enjoys the luxury of doing nothing, especially when one considers the actors involved here. We should probably discuss our next steps at our next Exec. Cmte. meeting.
"Thanks again Anne."
Contributing the last email to the chain, "New Majority" JACC Chair Kip Browne alluded to a conversation (apparently not by email) with Commander Martin, and hoped to continue building the relationship with MPD. Browne mentioned that, after a long hiatus under the amazingly bad "Old Majority" leadership (that's my paraphrase, not Browne's) the Jordan Neighborhood was finally re-establishing its public safety committee meetings, with the first one to be held May 20, 6:30 at the JACC headquarters.
Other sources tell me the meetings were derailed for a long time, and sometimes MPD representatives would show up only to find the meeting had been cancelled. Public safety was clearly not a priority with the "Old Majority," which is one of the major reasons they are out on their collective (expletive).
AND THAT REMINDS ME OF A JOKE!!!!
No, seriously, this is a joke told by somebody in the course of a discussion at the "Broadway Pizza policy booth" with some neighborhood movers and shakers present. It's not so much a "joke" however as a humorous impersonation/parody, as follows:
MY IMITATION OF Al McFarlane (or Jerry Moore, or Ben Myers, or for that matter Kenya McKnight) calling 911 on a drug dealer standing on a corner in North Minneapolis, dealing dope in broad daylight.
"Hello?! POLICE?! Yes, I need you to send somebody to Juarez, Mexico right away! There's a CIA drug cartel and it's pumping drugs into North Minneapolis, and some of those drugs have somehow ended up at the corner of--well, never mind which corner, just send as many cops to Juarez, Mexico as you can RIGHT AWAY!"
A pause, and the police dispatcher is saying something on the other end. McFarlane nods, up and down, and then finally says, "I understand, yes, Mexico is outside your jurisdiction. I see."
"OK, then," Al McFarlane finally says, "COULD YOU PLEASE SEND SOME OPPORTUNITIES FOR MEANINGFUL JOBS TO THE CORNER OF 22nd AND LYNDALE AVE. N. RIGHT AWAY??!!??!"
As always, those who have opposing views, contrary information, or wish to dispute facts are just as welcome to use the comment threads as those who may be in agreement.