GOP hopeful Stanek takes political swing at Gov. Walz in Thursday press conference

Thursday, former Hennepin County Sheriff and candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor, Rich Stanek, held a press conference in which he accused Gov. Tim Walz of violating “Minnesotan’s constitutional rights.”

Stanek cites an article from MIT Technology Review. That article cites emails obtained through public records requests alleging Operation Safety Net collected a list of journalists and protesters to monitor ahead of the Derek Chauvin trial. Operation Safety Net was created by several law enforcement agencies to maintain security before, during, and after the trial.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has not independently obtained those emails for review.

Stanek claims Walz “promised to demobilize Operation Safety Net, but allegedly were still gathering warrantless information through February 2022—10 months after they said it was no longer active.”

A spokesperson for Gov. Walz told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, “these claims are false and have not been substantiated.”

“The Governor has high standards for state law enforcement and has always prioritized their obligation to protect the First Amendment rights of journalists and Minnesotans,” a Walz spokesperson wrote in a statement.

Stanek is one of eight declared candidates who have thrown their hat in the ring for the GOP nomination.