Tim Scannell Replaced as Cook County Prosecutor

Updated: 07/31/2014 11:16 AM
Created: 07/31/2014 11:04 AM
By: Jennie Olson

A northern Minnesota prosecutor convicted of sexual misconduct with a teenage girl has been replaced, KSTP sister station WDIO-TV reports.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to replace Tim Scannell as county attorney following his conviction last week on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

Prosecuting attorney Tom Heffelfinger argued Scannell abused a position of authority when he kissed and touched the girl during drives they took in 2012. The girl's family sought a restraining order against Scannell, who they say was a longtime family friend.

According to WDIO-TV, Commissioner Garry Gamble said they called a special meeting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday following discussions with a consulting attorney. Gamble told WDIO-TV they acted on a Minnesota state statute that says an office becomes vacant upon "conviction of any infamous crime or of any offense involving a violation of the official oath."

Once the office was vacant, Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken was appointed as interim attorney, WDIO-TV reports. Hicken was also performing the duties of county attorney while Scannell was on medical leave.

The office is up for election this November, and Hicken is running unopposed.

Scannell's sentencing is set for Sept. 26. According to the defense, he is likely facing probation and not time behind bars.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell

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