Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation of Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell under review
The investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) into the circumstances surrounding Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell’s relationship with a 17-year-old has been completed, according to a county official. According to a Sixth Judicial District Court order issued March 25, Thomas B. Heffelfinger has been appointed to act in the place of the Cook County Attorney for purposes of reviewing the BCA documents “for potential prosecution and, if appropriate to conduct a prosecution.”
The BCA began the investigation in December 2012 at the request of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Sixth District Court document, Heffelfinger will take an oath required by law of county attorneys and may perform all duties of the county attorney in relation to this BCA investigation.
Heffelfinger, who ius a fomer U.S. Attorney for the state of Minnesota and who once served as the Hennepin County Assistant County Attorney, will be compensated $230 per hour and reasonable expenses for travel. Upon completion of the duties of the order, it states that Heffelfinger shall submit an invoice to the Cook County Attorney’s Office, to the attention of Assistant Cook County Attorney Molly Hicken.
Reached by phone on April 5, Heffelfinger would not comment on the matter, other than to say that he had been retained by the court to review a case when it is presented to him. He would not give a comment on the possible time it would take to conduct the review and when asked what the next step in this process was, Heffelfinger replied, "That depends on my decision. I am not going to speculate."
The investigation followed the December 4, 2012 harassment retraining order issued against Scannell by a Cook County family concerned for the safety and wellbeing of their 17-year-old daughter. An agreement was reached between the family and Scannell regarding modification to the harassment restraining order on January 22, 2013. The agreement was worked out between the family’s attorney, David Lillehaug, and Scannell’s attorney, Joseph Tamburino of Caplan & Tamburino, P.A., Minneapolis, which allows Scannell to attend high school basketball games, tennis matches and parent-teacher conferences involving his family at Cook County High School, provided “that Respondent have no contact with Petitioners or any member of Petitioners’ immediate family during such times.”
The harassment restraining order remains in force regarding contact with the family until December 4, 2014.
Cook County Attorney Scannell had first gained national attention on December 15, 2011 after being shot by a defendant he had successfully convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a teenaged girl.
Scannell continues to be in the spotlight as some citizens are campaigning for his removal from the county attorney position. There have been facebook pages dedicated to requesting his resignation and each week on Wednesday and Friday has seen picketers outside the Cook County courthouse requesting his resignation. The protest began with one solitary protestor and has grown to between five and a dozen people with signs each day.