Ramsey County commissioners rebuke Sheriff Fletcher for ‘exclusionary practices’

Several members of the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners are speaking out against what they call a pattern of disrespect and an act of racism by Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

At issue is a letter sent by Fletcher after commissioners approved more sheriff’s office spending oversight. The board claims he only sent the letter to white members.

“I don’t know what his intent was when he left us out of the letter, but clearly we need to move forward with facing serious issues and we need to work together,” Commissioner Rafael Ortega said during a news conference on Friday. “And by excluding us, I dont see how we create that parternship that we need to make things better in our community.”

Responding on Friday, Fletcher said, “the Commissioners to whom the letter was address have failed for four years to acknowledge the pain and fear residents of Ramsey County have felt as a result of record-high violent crime — a crime wave their policies helped create.”

He says two of the commissioners left off the letter — Rena Moran, who is Black, and Mai Chong Xiong, who is Hmong American — only recently took office in January. Fletcher said he omitted Commissioner Ortega, who is Latino, because he “has always worked with the Sheriff’s Office in a professional, good-faith manner.”