Thomas Pertler, who was the county attorney from 2005 to 2018, is no longer allowed to practice law in the state after failing to disclose police misconduct while in office, which led to the dismissal of 19 pending criminal cases and the retroactive dismissal of eight convictions...
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
The Minnesota Supreme Court has disbarred a former prosecutor charged with disclosure violations
The Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility has filed a petition for disciplinary action alleging that respondent Thomas H. Pertler has committed professional misconduct warranting public discipline-namely, failing to disclose known police misconduct of which respondent had knowledge and which required disclosure, failing to implement a Brady policy, failing to disclose information about police misconduct to those who needed the information, and failing to train the staff of the Carlton County Attorney's Office, ultimately resulting in the dismissals of 19 pending criminal cases and the retroactive dismissal and expungement of eight cases that had resulted in conviction, including release of one such defendant who was incarcerated in prison at the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Respondent's conduct violated Minn. R. Prof. Conduct 3.4(c), 3.8(d), 5.l(a), 5.l(b), and 8.4(d).
The Star Tribune reported
The discipline stems from a 2016 investigation into misconduct by Cloquet Police Cpl. Scott Beckman. The police chief later found the claims were credible and told Pertler, according to the disbarment petition. Pertler "did not advise assistant Carlton County attorneys ... of Cpl. Beckman's misconduct and resulting discipline," the petition states.
He admitted the violations and accepted the sanction. (Mike Frisch)