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Isanti City Attorney digs in, defends inaction on former police chief

Isanti City Attorney digs in, defends inaction on former police chief Photo: KSTP-TV

June 07, 2019 06:04 PM

The Isanti city attorney who knew a police chief had interfered in a criminal investigation into one of his own officers, but chose not to address the potential legal ramifications, is now defending his decision.

Clark Joslin, the city’s longtime attorney, told the city council earlier this week that he acted appropriately when he recommended that no immediate was action was necessary back in 2017 after learning that Police Chief Gene Hill had lied in court and tampered with witnesses.

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“I stand by the advice, and how I handled my advice,” Joslin said, according to the Isanti County Star.

City records show Joslin “didn’t seem concerned” even though the chief’s tarnished credibility could impact every case he touched.
5 INVESTIGATES first reported earlier this week that Hill continued to be involved in criminal cases for another 15 months until he was fired in May following a review of his conduct.

Joslin declined to comment on the public records obtained by 5 INVESTIGATES when confronted at a city council meeting last month. He had previously not responded to multiple phone calls and emails.

Tampering with justice: Police chief interfered in criminal investigation, stayed on job for 15 months

On Tuesday, according to the County Star, he told the council that “there is information that cannot be relayed to the press or public due to data practices act, data privacy and attorney/client privilege. For that reason, it is not appropriate for me to address a number of specifics that would be nice to address in public.”

Public officials can comment on internal investigations that result in disciplinary action, such as termination, according to state law.
Joslin did say, “There are occasions when reasonable minds may differ over the appropriate course of action or steps to be taken,” the paper reported.

City council members have not responded to Joslin’s comments.

In public social media posts, the editor of the Isanti County Star previously criticized 5 INVESTIGATES for its reporting on Joslin and Chief Hill, calling it “completely bogus.”

KSTP-TV stands by the accuracy of its reporting.

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Ryan Raiche

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