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Fairmont mayor apologizes to community for criminal cases that expired

Updated: November 26, 2019 06:15 PM

A mayor in southwest Minnesota is apologizing to victims after dozens of criminal cases sat for so long they can no longer be charged.

5 INVESTIGATES uncovered the mishandled cases in Fairmont earlier this fall.

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On Monday night, Mayor Deb Foster said the city is now doing everything humanly possible to ensure it doesn’t happen again. She apologized for the actions of former city attorney Elizabeth Bloomquist.

Bloomquist left her job earlier this year over concerns about her job performance.

After she left, the city learned Bloomquist had sat on criminal cases for years – including cases of domestic violence.

Out of Time: Domestic violence cases can't be charged after city prosecutor sat on dozens of investigations for years

After 5 INVESTIGATES started asking questions, the city reviewed those cases.

The city now says a total of 50 cases expired under the statute of limitations and believes about half of those had the potential to be charged.

An outside investigation found no other city officials knew that Bloomquist was letting those cases expire.

“I’m very sorry to everyone,” said Foster. “There is nothing that can be done to erase or change the past. There are changes that have already taken place to improve the now and the future.”

Among the changes, the police department has now developed a system to track cases to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

During the city’s outside investigation, city administrator Mike Humpal also agreed to leave his job, but officials won’t say why.

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Ryan Raiche

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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