August 10, 2018 10:21 PM
A former employee of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she coerced employees to work at political events and do political work while on the clock.
"Yes, and she delegated that to me and a few others," said D'Andre Norman. "That was my job, across the board, a majority, 75 to 80 percent of the time that's what I did."
Norman told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS one of his main responsibilities was recruiting and pressuring workers in the attorney general's office to "volunteer" at Swanson political events.
On Friday, attorney general spokesman Ben Wogsland e-mailed copies of felony charges for insurance fraud filed against Norman in 2014. Norman was fired after those charges were filed, even though the case was later dropped.
Norman and his attorney, Marty Carlson, said he submitted a lawsuit Friday afternoon requesting a restraining order against Swanson after her office released details of the criminal case that was expunged.
Norman worked in the office for around nine years but did not speak out while working in the office.
"I was following marching orders," Norman said. "I knew it was wrong at the time. I was brainwashed."
Swanson fought back against the accusations she coerced employees in her office to volunteer to help her with political activities.
"It's settling a score," Swanson said during a debate with other DFL gubernatorial candidates that will be broadcast on "At Issue with Tom Hauser" Sunday. "I expect that when I take on these big corporations as attorney general."
Swanson claims "The Intercept," an online magazine that first published the accusations from several unnamed sources, is partially funded by a man who owned a company she sued.
"This is a widely discredited online publication," Swanson says.
Swanson denies Norman's allegations.
"To the extent anybody volunteers on political activities or political campaigns for me or anyone else they do it on their own time at their own discretion," Swanson said.
A Minnesota statute says an employee or official of the state or of a political subdivision may not use official authority or influence to compel a person to take part in various political activities.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reached out by e-mail and phone to Swanson's campaign about the potential lawsuit. Swanson's campaign did not return requests for comment.
Updated: August 10, 2018 10:21 PM
Created: August 10, 2018 09:10 PM
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