District 49A Anoka County
CAPITAL INVESTMENTCIVIL LAWENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES POLICY AND FINANCEREDISTRICTINGRULES AND LEGISLATIVE ADMINISTRATION
Chief Gordon RamsayDuluth Police Department2030 N Arlington AveDuluth, MN 55811Chief Ramsay,As Chair of the Minnesota House Data Practices Subcommittee, I am deeply disturbed atremarks made by the Duluth Police Department concerning access to data related to theinvestigation of Rep. Kerry Gauthier. Despite the obvious requirements set forth in Chapter 13,your department appears to have violated the law in order to avoid disclosing public data relatedto this investigation.News reports indicate that your department twice failed to comply with requests for public datarelated to the Gauthier investigation. The Deputy Chief, Robin Roesser, explained that this is
because it maintains public data on “high profile” individuals, including incident and arrestreports, separate and apart from other data. Deputy Roesser is quoted as saying, “It’s a database
shared by several law enforcement agencies. It was a high-profile case, shielded so only a few
users could see it.”
This is highly inappropriate, and a clear violation of the Minnesota Government Data PracticesAct. By
restricting access to public data related the incidents involving “high profile”
individuals, the Duluth Police Department has created two sets of rules for handling public data.For regular people, requests for data will be processed according to the rules of Chapter 13. For
profile” people, the police will decide which data to release and when to release it.
The actions and statements of your department beg for clarification of which statutes, rules orordinances allow a policy of "special treatment" of privileged individuals. Under Chapter 13, Iam hereby requesting the following information and data:1.
The department's definition of "high profile" and its procedure in determining whethercertain incidents or investigations are "high profile."