Walz still weighing options on state trooper case

Walz still weighing options on state trooper case

Walz still weighing options on state trooper case

In a wide-ranging interview on Friday, Governor Tim Walz says he’s still considering whether to remove a criminal case against Minnesota State Trooper Ryan Londregan from the office of Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarity.

She’s charged Londregan with second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault. Defense attorneys claim Moriarity ignored a use-of-force expert who says Londregan followed proper procedure and his training.

“Minnesotans are paying close attention to this,” Walz said in an interview recorded for “At Issue with Tom Hauser” for broadcast Sunday morning. “It’s a tragic case. You’ve got a man dead. You’ve got law enforcement officers doing their duty in a situation where split-second decisions need to be made. With that being said we want to make sure that cases are heard fairly.”

Walz acknowledges he’s questioned other cases handled by Moriarity.

“I’m trying to be very careful in this, but look, I’ve made no secret about it, I’ve had differences with the county attorney on several cases,” he says.

The governor also says he’s glad the Minneapolis City Council appears to be reconsidering an ordinance increasing the pay of ride-share drivers to a point that would cause Uber and Lyft to discontinue service in Minneapolis and possibly the wider metro area.

Walz says he was surprised the council passed the ordinance the day before a state report on driver pay was due to be released that would have been helpful in their debate.

“What about folks with disabilities who depend on this? What about folks who are making smart decisions about not drinking and driving? What about folks depending on getting to work? We told (the city council) it was coming out the next day, they made that decision. So I think this is helpful [that they’re reconsidering],” he says.

Walz also said he’s convinced Uber and Lyft are not bluffing about leaving.

“No, I don’t think so. Again it’s their business where they’re at,” he says. “They’re going to make a business decision on this. Do I think they’re going to try to drive wages lower than they should be? Yeah, I think that’s a possibility, but they said they’re going to leave. They are going to leave. This idea that something will magically fill that void…that’s not a plan.”

The governor also spoke about a new spending agreement with legislative leaders and several other issues. You can see the entire interview on “At Issue” Sunday at 10 a.m.