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LET Experience counts as county attorney

By Raymond F. Schmitz

I have been privileged to serve as Olmsted County Attorney for 20 years and 14 as an assistant prior to that.

I was hired to start a child support program and represent abused and neglected children. Today, my office works with the child support unit to collect millions of dollars in child support, and continues to protect children in court.

The prosecutor's first responsibility is to work for justice, justice for the community, justice for victims, and justice to the accused. This office prosecutes all felonies and juvenile offenses throughout the county and other offenses outside of Rochester. I have prosecuted crimes from first-degree murder to traffic violations. I review most of the hundreds of felony cases that are presented to my office by law enforcement each year, and make the decision on prosecution. Sexual assault, domestic violence, gun crimes, all crimes of violence, drugs all need the attention of an experienced prosecutor. Good prosecution starts with good police work, a close working relationship with law enforcement is a priority of my office, I'm a career prosecutor, I don't apologize for tough enforcement of the law.

I worked with Rep. Dave Bishop to pass laws to protect you against sexual offenders through community notification and by confinement statutes for sexually dangerous persons. Soliciting children for sex is illegal and deaths resulting from the sale of drugs are murder because I worked to change laws. I helped write laws outlawing sexual abuse by therapists and clergy.

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Olmsted County is big business; county board decisions affect your taxes, businesses, property values and life style. The county attorney is the legal adviser to the board and county officials. We've gone to court to protect the county against lawsuits by contractors and others, and we have brought lawsuits to force payments by businesses that have not performed contracts. These actions have saved taxpayers millions of dollars. But doing things correctly is better than fixing them later; good legal advice to county officers is important to making government work. The advice of my office is respected in the county.

We need a system that locks up dangerous offenders but doesn't waste money confining those who are punishable outside of prison. I served on the PORT board and the Community Corrections Advisory Board, and currently sit on the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission. That commission decides which groups of offenders are incarcerated and for how long.

I'm working on developing Minnesota's Criminal Justice Data System so that law enforcement knows as much about criminals as Target knows about socks.

Taxes are important. My office does more for less than other comparable county attorney's offices. I know what it takes to get the job done, because I've done the job. I've managed the county attorney's office for 20 years through the tremendous changes in this community. I've done every job in the office. Experience counts. I want to continue to serve you as your Olmsted County Attorney. I would appreciate your vote.

Schmitz of Rochester is running for re-election as County Attorney for Olmsted County.

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