St. Paul Attorney Declines to Prosecute GOP Leader for Campaign Finance Violations

St. Paul Attorney Declines to Prosecute GOP Leader for Campaign Finance Violations

By Tom Scheck
MPRNews, August 3, 2012

Tony Sutton resigned as state GOP chairman in December 2011, leaving nearly $2 million in debt.

St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing says she will not pursue criminal charges against former Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton. Grewing said today that it would be difficult to prove criminal wrongdoing beyond a reasonable doubt.

"While the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board did an extremely thorough job investigating this matter and assessing civil penalties, its finding of probably cause of a criminal violation does not necessarily merit a criminal prosecution. While Mr. Sutton's actions are troubling, and indeed go to the heart of what Minnesota's Campaign Finance System is created to avoid, we believe that we would not be able to prove his criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt in court."

The executive director of Common Cause Minnesota requested Grewing file criminal charges against Sutton for his actions related to a fund created to help in the 2010 gubernatorial recount. The Campaign Finance Board fined Sutton $3,000 for circumventing campaign finance laws. Sutton still faces other penalties. Common Cause also filed a complaint with the Office of Administrative Hearings to investigate Sutton, the Republican Party of Minnesota and the recount fund known as Count Them All Properly.

Here's Grewing's letter:

Ccm Response Final

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/polinaut/archive/2012/08/st_paul_attorne.shtml

Also see: "Chairman's spending decisions on insiders helped lead to GOP debt"