Hearing set for area police officer to challenge charges
By Janice Gregorson
An Austin police captain accused of being in possession of a prescription painkiller taken from the department’s evidence room did nothing wrong, his attorney said Wednesday during a court hearing in Rochester.
Defense attorney Terry Maus asked Olmsted District Judge Kevin Lund to schedule another hearing so he can offer testimony to show that Curt Rude did nothing wrong.
Rude, 48, who has been with the Austin Police Department for 20 years, faces two felony charges alleging he took bottles of OxyContin from the department’s evidence room on Nov. 6. He also is charged with interfering with property in official custody, a gross misdemeanor.
Lund has been assigned to the Mower County case.
In requesting another hearing, Maus said Rude was the backup to the evidence technician and had a right to have the OxyContin in his office. Maus said the drugs were locked up in the office.
"There may have been a technical violation but no criminal intent," Maus told the judge. Another hearing was scheduled for May 15, and Maus said Rude and others will testify.
Maus also said he might request a change of venue, saying that the case has been in the news almost daily. He said he might conduct a survey of citizens of Mower County to see how much they know or if they have been influenced by the publicity and will keep all articles.
Assistant Olmsted County Attorney Ross Leuning is serving as special prosecutor in the case and said he won’t oppose a change of venue if there’s enough evidence to support the request.
Rude is on unpaid administrative leave.
A version of this article appears in today’s Austin Post-Bulletin.