Months after settlement, Hennepin County Attorney accused of retaliation again

The Hennepin County Attorney is again accused of retaliating against a long-time prosecutor in his office.

Amy Sweasy filed a lawsuit on Wednesday claiming Mike Freeman is violating the terms of a previous settlement agreement reached earlier this year.

Sweasy has worked as a prosecutor in the office since 1995. She initially filed a claim with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights alleging that Freeman engaged in sex discrimination in the office and retaliation.

Hennepin County settled that claim in May of this year for $190,000. As part of the terms in the settlement, Sweasy no longer reports to Freeman.

But according to a lawsuit filed this week, Sweasy says Freeman is still retaliating against her and continues to undermine her in her new role in the office.

The complaint says that Freeman has threatened other members of the county attorney’s office “with retaliation if they support, talk to, and help Sweasy.”

Included in her long list of claims against Freeman, Sweasy also alleges that the county has allowed it all to happen.

“Hennepin County has perpetrated and condoned the misconduct and almost-daily retaliation against Sweasy,” the complaint reads.

In a statement to 5 INVESTIGATES, Sweasy’s attorney, Sonia Miller-Van Oort, said that “Ms. Sweasy wants to do her job—as we all do—free of intimidation and retaliation. Defendants’ conduct over the last 6 months has made that impossible.” 

In an email, Freeman sent 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS this statement in response to the lawsuit: “We intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit. We will have no further comment while this matter is pending.”

Freeman is set to leave office in January after choosing not to run for re-election. Sweasy has prosecuted high-profile cases, including the prosecution of former MPD officer Mohamed Noor.