Board approves accord with DOC

WashCo_logoThe Washington County Board of Commissioners addressed several law enforcement-related issues Tuesday, including a reimbursement agreement with the state for legal services involving inmates at the two state prisons in the county.

Commissioners approved a joint powers agreement with the state Department of Corrections that allows the County Attorney’s Office to seek state reimbursement of up to $25,000 between July 1 and June 30, 2014.

The state reimburses county attorneys’ offices for expenses incurred prosecuting inmates charged with crimes while in state prisons. County Attorney Pete Orput’s office prosecutes cases involving inmates at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater in Bayport and MCF-Oak Park Heights.

In a separate issue, commissioners approved the County Attorney’s Office using $37,000 from a forfeiture fund to buy and install an audio-visual system in the Government Center’s lower level conference rooms.

Orput’s office provides training and education to law enforcement officers, prosecutors and attorneys, county employees and county residents.

The County Board also approved a partnership between the county Sheriff’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration to develop a task force focusing on large-scale diversion of pharmaceutical drugs.

The WCSO will assign one deputy to the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad working out of the DEA’s Minneapolis office investigating the diversion, illegal distribution and theft of pharmaceutical drugs by doctors, pharmacies and other health care providers.
The new partnership is part of the WCSO’s county-wide focus on the growing problem of pharmaceutical addiction and abuse.