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Letter: Think-tank group wasted chief's time

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We are part of The Trust Project.

On Tuesday, May 15, Rochester Police Chief Jim Franklin stood in a parking lot at the Rochester Golf and Country Club parking with nothing to do. Taxpayers paid his salary for him to be there wasting his time for a PR opportunity for a Twin Cities right-wing think tank. Emails between The Center for the American Experiment and the police chief are evidence of this.

On Sunday, May 13, the Rochester Golf and Country Club informed CAE that their May 15 “Crime Crisis” event was canceled.

On the morning of Monday, May 14, Chief Franklin emailed CAE to ask “Where is the event being held? I heard a rumor that it is no longer at the country club. Can someone confirm or correct that rumor?”

On May 14, event moderator Jeff Van Nest (CAE’s Public Safety and Criminal Justice Policy Fellow) and Micah Olson (CAE’s Greater Minnesota Outreach Director) wrote back to Chief Franklin saying the event was still on at the country club. (“Our plan is to still move forward with the event”-Olson; “…we are moving forward with the event as scheduled tomorrow in Rochester.” - Van Nest).

CAE could have told the chief not to waste his time coming to an already-canceled event; but they wanted a media opportunity and they got one, on the taxpayer dime. Fran Bradley, a formerly respected Rochester representative and CAE’s chapter chair in Rochester, should be ashamed of being involved with these wasteful hijinks.

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Abe Sauer, Rochester

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