An update on former Northfield City Administrator Al Roder

David Hvistendahl David Hvistendahl has a new weekly show on KYMN Radio called Law Review.  For this week’s show, he and associate attorney Britt Ackerman, discuss, among other things, legal matters involving former Northfield City Administrator Al Roder.  They revealed that Roder’s former home in Northfield is now in foreclosure. And they confirmed with the Goodhue County attorney’s office that the investigation of Roder is still open. The connection? “Follow the money…” they say.  For background, see these Oct. 2008 Northfield News articles:

Mayor charged following Goodhue investigation

Lansing introduced his friend, mortgage broker Paul Norby, to Roder, who in February 2006 helped the new city administrator finance his Northfield home. Roder allegedly received two separate loans that year —totaling more than $30,000 — in conjunction with his mortgage and subsequent refinancings from acquaintances of Norby’s.

Following the money in the case


• $10,000 approved as moving expenses from the city

• $10,000 later added by council as additional moving expenses

• $20,000 check made out to First National Bank by the city and wired to Roder for moving expenses

• Paul Norby helped him get a mortgage

• Lee Lansing said $25,000 was “dumped” into Roder’s account so that he would qualify for his mortgage

• Paul Norby gave Roder a loan of $25,000 principal toward closing on his home in February 2006. The check was provided by Ardeth Livermore, an acquaintance of Norby’s. Closing requirements on Roder’s house were $33,840.44.

• $25,000, with interest, was deposited in a Wells Fargo account in Roder’s name by Gary and Mary Purdon (sic).

• Lee Lansing said he (as mayor) and Norby wrote to Washington Mutual, Roder’s mortgage company, and said Roder got $20,000 for signing on and $15,000 for moving expenses, which was untrue.

• At the closing for his house, Roder provided a cashier’s check from Wells Fargo for $32,000. Of that, $25,000 was from the check provided by Ardeth Livermore.

• Roder says he repaid the principal, interest and fees on the $25,000 loan. Norby claims to have paid a fee of $1,250.

• In June 2006, Roder gets a $69,000 loan and pays back Livermore, Norby, and a second mortgage from Washington Mutual.

• Roder refinanced his mortgage through Paul Norby in June and October 2006

• Jack Maruska, a contract worker of Norby’s, loans Roder $5,862 for his June 2006 refinance.


  1. David Ludescher said:

    Let’s not forget that Hvistendahl represented Gary Smith, who, for unknown reasons, hired Hvisty to represent after Smith sullied Northfield’s reputation with the heroin fiasco.

    June 25, 2009
  2. Gary Smith said:

    Dave L. I would take exception to the “sullied” slanderous comment unless you have proof which you seldom do. Last time I checked, it was ok to seek due process in the form of legal counsel in the United States of America. The bodies of dead kids in and round Northfield tends to substantiate some type of problem. At least I didn’t ask for any financial assistance from anybody nor is my Northfield home in foreclosure. It is refreshing to be someplace where there are not such narrow minded folk. I do believe that I am going to continue to monitor and collect what I consider to be slanderous and untrue comments. How is Dave representing me any different than you representing convicted drug dealers who tried to blow up the courthouse and murder one of my officers, a prosecutor and a judge? Is that why you are so dead set against consideration that there is a drug problem in Northfield? Is there an alterior motive there???

    June 25, 2009
  3. David Ludescher said:

    Mr. Smith: Allan Weatherford’s drug conviction was reversed on appeal because of an unconstitutional (illegal) search and seizure. Allan Weatherford had been in a secure drug treatment facility for two weeks when he was charged with possessing an explosive device. He was never charged with attempting to blow up the courthouse, nor charged with attempting to hurt anyone.

    Both federal charges he plead guilty to involved the federal government using the wrongfully obtained conviction as evidence against him, and the government claiming that he was a convicted felon. Because federal law allows wrongfully obtained evidence to be used, there was nothing Mr. Weatherford could do.

    As I recall, you were at the press conference when all of Mr. Weatherford’s guns were displayed. No public official mentioned that the guns had been taken months before and that Mr. Weatherford was in drug treatment. Why didn’t law enforcement tell the public the whole story?

    I agree that there is a drug problem. However, we need the truth from our public officials if we are going to know the nature and extent of the problem. You simply had no good information that there were 250 young people in Northfield using heroin. And, if you did, why didn’t or don’t you tell the people of Northfield, so we didn’t have to speculate on whether you were telling the truth?

    June 26, 2009
  4. kiffi summa said:

    The events , and effects, of Mr. Roder’s time in Northfield will never end until Goodhue county either ends their investigation of Mr. Roder, or charges him; and maybe not even then.

    I doubt that two attorneys, Hvistendahl, and Ackerman, are going to present information on their radio show which is not based in fact. Indeed, their statements about the foreclosure and the open case are matters of public record. If they offer opinion, I believe it will be presented as such. People are free to agree with their opinion or not.

    Once again, an anonymous commenter, ‘fairandbalanced’ on the NFNews site, makes accusation, puts forth supposition, and comes to personal conclusion that is entirely offensive and would seem to have the goal of keeping everything ‘stirred up’for personal goals and his/her personal positioning, including defaming anyone that he/she doesn’t agree with.

    If Attny. Hvistendahl’s radio show is a half-hour paid advertisement, as ‘fairand balanced’ claims, then everyone is able to judge it in that light if they wish. Does that affect the information presented? That may also be judged, evaluated. And that anonymous commenter’s suppositions about motives should be able to be judged also; but it is hard to ‘call out’ an anonymous cipher.

    By now, we are also aware of the rancor between Mr. Ludescher and former Police Chief Gary Smith. Having done a lot of work with teens during the time Mr. Smith was here, I would have to come down completely on his side on the need to ‘out’ the drug issue. It was not being spoken about, acknowledged, or dealt with in any substantive manner. Regardless of what you think of the manner in which it was handled, do you think there is more positive work being done on this issue now? having been brought squarely into the public arena?

    I would think people would have to acknowledge that the impact of all sorts of community meetings, those at the Moravian Church, the Key, the two Mayor’s Task Forces, HCI, and more, have gone a long way to create a more productive, healthy, and realistic atmosphere surrounding heroin/drug use in this community than had existed before Chief Smith’s public announcement.

    I am completely against hiding, rather than dealing with, public problems … whether it is with drugs, or with safety center task forces… and that is why I fully believe that the anonymous comments allowed on the NF news site are a
    detriment to the comity of this community.

    June 26, 2009
  5. Scott Oney said:

    Gary G.:

    I’m sure you know a lot more about what was going on in the Northfield opiate trade between 2004 and the spring of 2007 than I do. Hypothetically, would you be willing to come back and testify against any of your guys that were involved during that period, if any of them were? And would it be possible to make public any internal investigations that were conducted back then that might shed some light on the subject?

    And Kiffi, what on earth makes you think that Northfield’s drug problems were “not being spoken about, acknowledged, or dealt with in any substantive manner” before Chief Smith’s notorious press conference. I can think of several people who were in contact with the Nfld PD throughout that period trying to get them to do something. And that should have been enough. You don’t need a media circus, two task forces, and a bunch of meetings at the Key to catch a few kids that are selling something they shouldn’t. As it turned out, honest cops, a reliable informant, and a halfway decent video camera did the trick.

    June 26, 2009
  6. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: There is no rancor between me and Gary Smith. Northfield’s reputation has been sullied. As of today, we don’t know whether the sullied reputation is deserved. I happen to believe that if the 250 number was accurate, that the public would have heard verification.

    Gary: You and other law enforcement intentionally mislead the public about Mr. Weatherford. It’s not fair for you to continue to make allegations that have no basis in fact.

    i think that it is regrettable that this smear campaign has started against Mr. Roder. That it has been started by the attorney who represented someone who reported to Mr. Roder makes the motivations all the more suspicious.

    June 26, 2009
  7. Mike Lewis said:

    David Ludescher, I am confused here. I think what you are saying is that Weatherford’s substantial step forward to obtain the materials to make the explosive devices to blow up the courthouse, the Faribault LEC, and other critical city infrastructure didn’t happen because of the feds used the wrong information in order to get a conviction for drugs?

    I bet you would have a different opinion if it had been your place of work, and your personal safety, that your client would have put in peril if he hadn’t been stopped.

    I also do not understand what difference it makes that the guns were confiscated while Weatherford was in drug treatment. Does that somehow make the weapons he possessed somehow less significant?

    If memory serves me right, former Chief Smith’s intent with the heroin issue was to bring it to light so that the heroin users could come in and seek help. What is unfortunate about the heroin issue is that the pundits, like you, could not fathom that intent and had to twist it to your own personal gain.

    June 26, 2009
  8. Joe Dokken said:

    One day we will all stand before God and have to give an account for our life. If exposing people is your vent and you enjoy smearing individual’s reputation, have your day now. Al Roder should not be tried in the kangaroo court of public opinion. The legal matters which require a response will ultimately be resolved.
    Until then, your detailed facts do nothing but smear an individual. I see no references to where these printed financial statements find their accuracy. Shame on our local Web site for allowing such information to be printed without requiring stated verifiable proof. What stops me from printing my financial mistakes or anyone else’s? I might draw attention to my article because of the voyeurism mentality of America, yes even in Northfield.
    Whether it is Al Roder or Lee Lansing no one needs their private matters exposed, especially if these matters have no connection to official city business.
    Show me the proof…..then you can talk about the money.

    June 26, 2009
  9. Griff Wigley said:

    David L, I’m glad you pointed out that David Hvistendahl represented Chief Smith. I thought Hvisty should have mentioned that on the air. But let’s not start the “does Northfield have a heroin problem” discussion again. I thought your use of the word ‘sullied’ was needlessly provocative.

    Kiffi, again, please stop bringing the anonymous commenters on the Northfield News site into discussions here.

    Mike, feel free to disagree with David L, but it don’t make accusations about his motives (“… personal gain.”) That’s needlessly insulting.

    Joe, it would help if you specifically said whether it’s me, or KYMN, or the Northfield News or who that you’re upset with.

    June 26, 2009
  10. kiffi summa said:

    Griff: when anonymous commenters raise an issue about an ongoing thread on this site, I think it is completely relevant to draw attention to that, in the same way anyone here would like to an article or quote of relevance. You really should explain more succinctly why that is not allowed.

    For instance, there are commenters here that eventually bring in abortion, or gay rights, regardless of the relevance ,and some of those threads go over a thousand comments… many, maybe even the predominance of which are not on the original subject , but an entirely side discussion AND they link to all sorts of irrelevancies.

    For instance, when it is said on another site that Mr. Hvistendahl’s entire half hour radio show is a paid-for advertisement, that creates a question which is relevant to the discussion here on the thread related to that show; the same goes for comments about the safety center task force.

    If it is permissible to link to a reference anywhere else in the world, why is it not permissible to reference a comment on another site in this community? That is just not logical.

    June 26, 2009
  11. kiffi summa said:

    excusez moi! an error in the third line of 10.1 … it should read : would LINK to an article, not “like”…

    June 26, 2009
  12. David Ludescher said:

    Griff: YOU should have mentioned Hvisty’s connection in the body of your comment. And, what was the purpose of once again publishing the details of Al Roder’s financing if it wasn’t meant to imply that Roder did something wrong?

    June 26, 2009
  13. Joe Dokken said:

    Has anyone checked out the actual documents….printing numerous financial bullets and saying they come from the Northfield News is poor journalism. If this was my site I would be very careful about what I print without clearly stating the source of these factoids.
    Consider for one moment these statements being about your mother, or my mother. I am going to be very diligent in what I print. If someone places a journal entry on this site I will respond very quickly if the “facts” seem misleading. I heard a preacher say he was in the 82nd Airborne and he jumped at Normandy. Every one figured he was in World War II, until one person did the math on how “young” the Pastor seemed. Since the preacher was only 55 years old it was impossible for him to have jumped on D Day. The Minister went on to say the statement was correct but the way it was presented was very misleading. He was part of the 82nd Airborne during Vietnam, and he and his wife took a trip to Normandy and he had a picture taken of him jumping up and down.
    Facts are stubborn things, and long as they are presented in a fair and unbiased manner.
    Griff I don’t hold you personally responsible, just make sure the oversight panel for ongoing blogging considers the possible damaged to one’s reputation. Just because the “Northfield News” or whoever printed it as facts, does not mean it is correct. These kinds of laundry lists are typically misleading. They are hardly congruent, and at best hard for an outside observer to understand.

    June 26, 2009
  14. Patrick Enders said:

    I read the criminal complaint. It’s only 33 pages.

    June 26, 2009
  15. Gary Smith said:

    Joe, as a man of God I would assume you would also be as concerned about the reputation of good law enforcement folks as well. I know you have a good personal relationship with Mr. Roder and I’m sure that doesn’t cloud your judgment.

    As you said, all will eventually stand before God and be accountable. I certainly sleep very well at night knowing that and I pray daily for those who probably don’t.

    As for the the disposition of those responsible for the planned bombing, my question still is retorical for Dave L. I can draw the same conclusion about your motives in that case as you drew to Dave H. or my investigations. As to revealing information. Once and if ever the cases are brought to court, that information will public. If called to testify, I will do so. Unlike others, I will not speculate, guess, or bias another decision for self-serving interests. I would only ask that others do likewise.

    June 26, 2009
  16. Mike Lewis said:

    With all due respect, Mr. Wigley, My intent was not “needless insulting.” But I do feel this comment was needless insulting as well as WRONG: “Gary: You and other law enforcement intentionally mislead the public about Mr. Weatherford. It’s not fair for you to continue to make allegations that have no basis in fact.”

    Weatherford intended to blow up the courthouse, Faribault LEC, and other city infrastructure. This is in no way an “allegation … with no basis in fact.” He had the materials and the plan to do so.

    June 26, 2009
  17. Joe Dokken said:


    I appreciate your comments, and I hold no prejudice towards you or any Northfield Law enforcement personnel, active or inactive. I have no right to pass judgment on you or any of your decisions based purely on printed information in a paper or blog site.
    I think we need to do unto others as they should do unto us. (My paraphrase)
    My middle brother was in Law enforcement for 16 years and I know how challenging it is to always be right with every decision you make.
    Criminal Justice requires a community filled with patient and trusting individuals who for the most part believe in the old saying, “to protect and serve.”
    Good Luck and Blessings in your current happenings.

    June 27, 2009
  18. William Siemers said:

    Lying on a mortgage application is a federal crime.

    From a real estate website:

    At the bottom of all settlement statements (called a HUD-1), you will find the following language:

    “WARNING: It is a crime to knowingly make false statements to the United States on this or any similar form. Penalties upon conviction can include a fine and imprisonment. For details see: Title 18 U.S. Code Section 1001 and Section 1010.”

    Section 1001 of our federal law makes it a crime to make “any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation,” and the penalty can be a fine and imprisonment for not more than five years. Section 1010 deals with making false statements to induce the Department of Housing (including the FHA) to issue mortgage insurance or mortgage loans. Here, the penalty can be a fine and imprisonment for not more than two years.

    I think there must be similar state laws as well.

    And believe it or not, some folks are actually charged…usually when they have done something else and prosecutors want to pile on charges. Or when that’s the only charge that will stick against someone suspected of more serious crimes.

    June 27, 2009
  19. David Ludescher said:

    Griff: Perhaps you ought to kill this “update”. You used bad judgment in simply repeating gossip from David Hvistendahl’s from radio broadcast. After more than a year, there still aren’t any public allegations of wrongdoing by Al Roder. If he did do something wrong it must be hard to find.

    June 27, 2009
  20. Curt Benson said:

    David L., actually this investigation is nearly two years old.

    I believe that the City of Northfield is still on the hook for payments to Roder’s lawyer, correct? I’d like to know when Roder’s attorney last billed Northfield. I’d venture that knowing that information would tell one how active this Roder investigation is.

    I think that the issues raised in the Hvistendahl/Ackerman show are legitimate issues–but they are hardly disinterested parties–and not revealing that is wrong.

    June 27, 2009
  21. Joe Dokken said:

    It is also a crime to rip the tag off a mattress before you sell it to a customer.

    Do you have knowledge of Mr. Roder’s guilt?

    If you are only stating the obvious I have no issue.

    I agree with Dave L. there are better subjects to take up this space.

    Is Al Roder my friend? Yes, so are Lee Lansing, Gary Smith, and list to long to state here.

    “Pity the man who has no one to pick him up when he falls down.”

    June 27, 2009
  22. David Ludescher said:

    Curt: To what or whom are the issues legitimate? How are Roder’s mortgages related to Northfild’s business except as gossip?

    Roder is the subject of an “investigation” initiated by Smith just as Smith took a leave of absence.

    Two fundamental principles of due process are: a person has the right to confront his accuser and a person has the right to a speedy trial. Roder has gotten neither.

    June 27, 2009
  23. Mike Lewis said:

    Roder hasn’t been denied “due process” as he hasn’t been (as yet) charged with a crime. After he is charged, he will then have the right to a speedy trial.

    Roder is a public official and in being so he is subject to public scrutiny, especially when public funds are being spent for non-city operating functions because of his actions. The public also has a right to know what those funds are being spent on.

    There is a big difference between tearing the tag off a mattress and providing false information on a mortgage application. Especially if it is now in default.

    June 27, 2009
  24. David Ludescher said:

    Mike: Sounds like you are trying to spread some more rumors about Roder. Spending public monies for non-city functions? False information on a mortgage application? Where are you getting these allegations? Who is your source?

    June 27, 2009
  25. Curt Benson said:

    David you asked “To what or whom are the issues legitimate? How are Roder’s mortgages related to Northfild’s business except as gossip?”

    I’d say the issues are more newsworthy than gossipy when parts of the criminal complaint against Lansing involve Lansing and his associates’ handling of mortgages provided to Mr. Roder. As shown here:

    David, I do share your apparent skepticism about Smith’s “investigation” (with the quotes around investigation being yours.) From an article in the News, “According to Betcher, the information forward to him was not an investigation, per se. He called it more so a short summary of issues that have been raised, he said.”

    Also, I think that Roder has been unfairly subjected to the worst kind of gossip–and I objected to it (as did you) when Ross blogged a picture of Stalin and his henchmen and wrote “The former Police Chief filed the charges against Mr. Roder. The “rumors” that I have heard include bid-rigging, soliciting kick-backs, and accepting bribes”

    June 27, 2009
  26. Mike Lewis said:

    David: I am not spreading rumors, nor do I indulge in that activity. My source? I commented on information given above by folks posting on here and on Mr. Hvistendahl’s writing. My comment on non-city functions refers to the money the city is paying for Roder’s attorney fees while he is being investigated. In my opinion that is not a normal city expenditure.

    June 27, 2009
  27. Joe Dokken said:

    Mr Lewis,
    Once again I would ask, do you know something that none of us know about Mr. Roder? Or are you just speculating?
    It also against the law to drive while intoxicated.
    It is also against the law to drive faster than the posted speed limit.
    It is also against the law to drive without wearing a seatbelt.
    It is also against the law to drive your car without insurance.
    It is also against the law to be involved in prostitution.
    It is also against the law to sell or view child pornography.
    I know I am getting carried away…….
    The point is you can spill hot coffee on yourself and find some legal loophole to pursue a civil or criminal case.
    Your second paragraph seems to indicate knowledge of Mr. Roder’s guilt?
    Maybe I am misunderstanding your point……..

    June 27, 2009
  28. Mike Lewis said:

    see post 22

    June 27, 2009
  29. Joe Dokken said:

    Wouldn’t the City Council have to approve the funds being released for payment to Al Roder’s attorney?
    If the above statement is true….., then the perfect oversight is in place.
    We elected city councilmen to provide such services.

    June 27, 2009
  30. David Ludescher said:

    Curt: OK. The issues might someday have some relevance. But, Hvisty didn’t reveal anything new. It hardly qualifies as an update.

    June 27, 2009
  31. Mike Lewis said:

    I disagree with your opinion on the “perfect oversight”. This is a criminal investigation, being conducted by a law enforcement agency. From what read above, it appears that some of the allegations are not directly related to his city employment. How many government entities provide legal services to employees who are the subject to a criminal investigation. I bet it is extremely rare.

    June 27, 2009
  32. Joe Dokken said:

    The city council not only has legal guidance, but until recently one of the council members was a very knowledgeable attorney.

    Maybe the city needs a team of legal advice….probably cost more than what they are spending now.

    I am just speculating

    June 27, 2009
  33. Mike Lewis said:

    legal advise is simply that: advise. I don’t know what they were privy to, but sometimes when the decision is made, legal advise is not always followed for a variety of reasons.

    I am only speculating here and not saying that is what they did or didn’t do. It is strange that the city is paying for a former employees legal fees in a criminal investigation.

    June 27, 2009
  34. David Ludescher said:

    Mike: What is really strange is that the police chief was personally conducting a secret investigation against his own boss. If he thought there was anything going on, he should have turned the investigation over to a neutral investigative team.

    June 28, 2009
  35. Gary Smith said:

    Ok, I guess I’m on trial now tried and convicted by a one person jury. Dave L. as an attorney, you should know that as a licensed peace officer in the state of Minnesota I am required to investigate any complaint brought before use. The term “secret” is bogus and you know it. Investigations are confidential. You are making assumptions and starting the very rumors you are complaining about. I’m going to say this one more time for those of you who might have missed it the previous times. The investigation was turned over to the proper authorities at the proper time. Why do you assume that what Mr. Roder said in the paper is correct? Why am I not afforded the same courtesy by you as you extend to others? Shall we have a public dialogue as to why you dislike my tenure in Northfield so much? You seem to be the only one who can’t let this go. Every opportunity you have to drag my name into something you do it and quite frankly I’m tired of it. The investigation is in the hands of prosecutors. If you are upset that you can’t get your hands on the “truth” go bug them or complain about them in this forum.

    I am an honest, dedicated and ethical public servant. If you can’t seem to allow me that consideration until the facts come out in this so be it but I’m gonna expect one huge public apology and compensation for damages from you once it is all settled. I’ve been doing this job for over 28 years and have never been exposed to such hostility and slander that I received during the last six months in Northfield. It hurt my family terribly. It was uncalled for and I’m not going to forget it…ever.

    June 28, 2009
  36. Gary Smith said:

    To continue, it was necessary for me to secure legal counsel while employed in Northfield. I would think an attorney would appreciate that more than anyone else. There were due process issues and I sure wish people would at least extend consideration that I don’t have the legal authority to expound on that investigation without facing sanctions myself. I suspect there will certainly be raised eyebrows once this is all settled. Dave L. if you are so concerned about “justice” why don’t you contact the Goodhue County Attorney?

    June 28, 2009
  37. Jane Moline said:

    David L, I don’t know why you claim that Gary Smith was anything but dead on right about the drug problem in Northfield. If you actually spent any time with people who are treating our opiate addicts, you would know that 250 is probably a conservative number.

    Statistically, experts claim that the number of addicts seeking treatment is one-tenth or less of the drug abusing population. Considering that we have about a dozen deaths, add the number of those we know (they have been prosecuted for drug offenses or they are our friends children), we can easily count more than 25 addicts–at one-tenth, statistics tell us there are 250 more drug abusers out there who are still trying to hide their problems.

    David L, you continually believe that if we don’t know each and every name and have them on a list they are not drug abusers. Considering your remarks on the “atheist” blog, I think you might try to have a little faith in the experts who are treating and helping our kids.

    Gary Smith: you were right on in your announcement and I cannot believe the back-pedaling by your critics, who first denied that you might possibly know what you were talking about because of their fear that we might scare away future businesses and then, when the truth of the drug problem–every bit as bad as you had stated-came out, they claimed that you used bad form in the way you made your announcement.

    What we have learned from a number of police and judicial commentators, is that the legal system is not very affective in dealing with drug addiction. You can arrest them but that will not stop their addiction.

    And Gary Smith, I would think that it was commendable that you did some discreet investigation of Al Roder and turned that investigation over to an outside party as soon as you felt there was a potential for chargeable offenses–recognizing first that keeping an investigation out of the public realm respects the potential for false accusations, and then that it would be inappropriate to continue getting into detail on investigating your own boss as soon as you gathered that there was more than just “smoke” to the accusations.

    We know some facts regarding Al Roder’s actions. The charges against Lee Lansing included the issue of his inappropriately writing a letter to a company considering lending money to Al Roder–and Roder did secure that loan (and did have good reason to know that Lansing’s claims in the letter were untrue) and now did default on his mortgage causing his house to go into foreclosure. Add to this the weird practice of the former city council of paying oodles of taxpayer’s dollars to benefit Al Roder before he has ever been charged, and I think there is plenty here that warrants updates.

    Now it may be that Roder paid off the mortgage that was acquired using false information, since he had refinanced the house several times, but it certainly appears that he used borrowed money to claim that he had sufficient funds to warrant loans–and this is from public information available from the investigation of Lee Lansing.

    And it may be that most of the public think it is OK to borrow the down-payment from their mother or brother or meet a friend like Norby above and thus claim on a loan application that you have the funds to make a down payment, but if you do not reveal those loans to the mortgage company or bank, you are committing fraud. And we wonder why we have a mortgage crisis.

    I have to believe that the Goodhue County attorney’s office must be the most inefficient group of public employees in the state, which is saying alot.

    June 28, 2009
  38. kiffi summa said:

    Good comments, Jane: thanks for saving me a lot of time.

    It is ridiculous to have to make all these arguments over again, and frankly bringing up Gary Smith, just because Hvistendahl did a radio show update on Roder’s problems is purely “tit for tat”.

    No on is going to know what the truth is until Goodhue brings out its charges on Roder, IF they ever do, and maybe not even then. And no one is ever going to understand why the NF city council agreed to pay tens of thousands of dollars, UPFRONT, for a defense that hasn’t even been charged out yet, and those dollars have only presumably gone to KEEP it from getting charged.

    I, for one, would like Mr. Hvistendahl to speak to that issue. How can you spend the amount the city has spent so far when there have not, for almost two years, been any charges put forth?
    And when it has been asked at open mic, what is the current total up to, the only answer is that there has been no additional billing since the amount reported last fall , but that amount is not forthcoming.

    Chief Smith: there are many people in town who did support you, who think you did what you honestly felt you had to do with your ‘press conference’, and who are anxious for the truth to come out on many various issues from that time period (the Lansing/ Roder era). Unfortunately, there are just too many people in this town who are afraid to speak publicly OR ‘sit in the front pew’.

    It is also unfortunate that the three returning council members from that time, seem to feel that they have to keep urging support for the administrator who went off to a town that he proclaimed to be ‘more in line with his personal values’, and why? because if they back off now they will be seen as making the wrong choices then?

    That’s the reason Goodhue county needs to ‘get its act together’; we are all still functioning under a cloud of ongoing effect and recrimination, and it’s not going to quit until some facts are out in the open.

    Considering the legal weight, personnel and dollars, brought to Mr. Roder’s side even before charges are issued, will the facts EVER be out in the open?
    What do you think, Mr. Hvistendahl and Ms. Ackerman?

    June 28, 2009
  39. Scott Oney said:


    Considering that Northfield police officers became aware in 2004 that heroin and other opiates were being aggressively marketed to young adults in Northfield, why do you suppose they waited until halfway through 2007 to start thinking about maybe starting to do something about it? Are you saying that was OK?

    June 28, 2009
  40. Scott Oney said:


    I’ve never been afraid to speak out, but y’all just keep ignoring my questions (see #5 above).

    June 28, 2009
  41. David Ludescher said:

    Gary: This post implies that Al Roder did something wrong. The public reading this cyber-gossip, should remember that Mr. Hvistendahl was representing you, you made the allegations on the day that you took a leave of absence. Al Roder worked for you: you had been actively looking for a job in another town; you called the press conference when Roder was out of town.

    That’s not hostility or slander. Those are the facts.

    I am going to assume that Roder is innocent of your unknown complaints. I think the general public should think likewise. I am going to assume that you thought that you were doing your job when you turned in the allegations.

    June 28, 2009
  42. Gary Smith said:

    Those are partial facts. 1. Mr Roder disclosed that information to council members. Someone there let it out. I confirmed it through my attorney. 2. All parties involved knew of the press conference in advance. It was in my friday report to staff and I pre-emailed the school district and others with the content. Nobody had a problem until it became a political backlash. I’ve provided that information before here and in other venues. Nowhere in that did the word “sullied” and others come into play. I suspect that attorneys represent others. It would be interesting to hear them disclose all the potential conflicts everytime they open their mouth. Such was my attempt at the illustration of your condemnation about drugs in Northfield and representing drug offenders in court. You don’t disclose that. It is not relevant to Mr. Roder’s foreclosure of his house or his financial dealings to get a loan.

    June 28, 2009
  43. Jane Moline said:

    Scott: You may have a valid complaint that Gary Smith did not arrest enough drug users during his tenure. I, however, do not think arresting drug users is an affective way to treat drug addiction. (Although others may have good reason to disagree.) However, it does not change that Gary Smith accurately reported a serious drug problem and has been continually villified for his accurate, truthful, announcement.

    June 28, 2009
  44. Curt Benson said:

    Regarding Smith’s comments in number 31, listen to the audio in the link below and judge for yourself. It is from the joint session between the City Council and School Board. Acting Chief Schroeder, Smith’s partner in the press conference is answering questions that would have gone to Smith, if Smith hadn’t called in sick. If you slide the mark on the audio bar over to the 16 minute and 26 minute marks, you will hear remarks from Councilor Noah Cashman and School Superintendent Richardson. Those remarks are unquestionably in complete contradiction to Smith’s number two point above.

    June 28, 2009
  45. Patrick Enders said:

    Thanks for finding that link. That was very helpful.

    I for one am very glad to see the progress we have made on the heroin problem on several fronts – treatment, awareness, and enforcement – in the year-and-a-half since Chief Smith’s departure. Certainly, our present law-enforcement officials deserve much credit for improved enforcement. Although some persons might have doubts about the effectiveness of legal enforcement in dealing with some forms of addiction, I believe that the lethality of heroin fully justifies aggressive legal measures to interrupt the distribution of this drug.

    This is a not problem that should simply be thought of in the past tense, however. I hope that we will continue to work towards eliminating this local plague going forward.

    June 28, 2009
  46. Scott Oney said:


    Thanks for responding. Just to clear one thing up, under Gary’s watch, there were plenty of arrests for possession, which I agree was a waste of time. My complaint was that they weren’t going after pushers, who may or may not use their own product, and whose main addiction is to easy money.

    June 29, 2009
  47. kiffi summa said:

    Scott: I fully recognize that you have been an active concerned member of the community on this issue, but it takes a recognition by a big segment of the community, as well as the school district and the hospital, and yes, even the city council, to really open up the discussion the way it has happened in the last 1-2 years.
    Sorry, didn’t mean to ignore your question in #5; I was obviously distracted by Griff’s comments.

    June 29, 2009
  48. Gary Smith said:

    This thread is like herding cats. Mr. Benson, through no fault of your own, what was represented at that meeting is not correct. Since Roger Schroeder is the individual who provided me with the initial numbers and scope of the problem and since it was quite clear that the previous call from the school super to me was concerned more with people scared to go to his schools, I’ll let that speak for itself. It’s good that that conversation is a matter of public record as it will be refuted at some point, I hope once the investigations are concluded.

    In retrospect, I should have resisted the temptation to respond to my antagonists here. I’ll do better next time. Good luck to you all.

    June 29, 2009
  49. kiffi summa said:

    I find it really disturbing that the entire direction of this thread got hijacked to a rehash of Gary Smith.

    I hear that audio tape as NOT being a concrete explanation of anything without knowing more of the situation surrounding the program Mr Cashman is questioning Officer Schroeder about and Schroeder’s ignored statement about the programs possible integration with the “Night OUT” program, which is the focus of the first part of the discussion on the referenced tape; the second part being Supt. Richardson who sounds very focussed on the attention brought to the NF school district/high school. In all fairness that may have just been the direction of the discussion at that portion.
    At this point, that tape only raises the same questions it raised then…

    This thread is hijacked to the Gary Smith/press conference issue the same way many threads have been hijacked to abortion or gay rights.

    The persons in this community who have given so much time to ‘working on’ the heroin problem, like Curt, have every right to hold their opinion … however: each of these major issues during Mr. Roder’s time here has become a completely polarized issue with firmly , even rigidly held opinions on both sides.

    What’s the common denominator here?

    June 29, 2009
  50. David Ludescher said:

    Gary: It’s been two years since the heroin press conference. The public still doesn’t know the basis for your numbers. I think we can safely assume that if the numbers had a basis in fact that we would have heard how you or Roger or you arrived at those numbers; that isn’t a secret.

    Regarding Roder, the only information that the public has is that you made allegations against him. At least you are getting the chance to respond to your “accusers”. He hasn’t got that chance. And now, there are innuendos being made by your attorney, and promulagated by Locally Grown.

    June 29, 2009
  51. Jane Moline said:

    David L: the numbers have been explained ad nauseum. Please quit saying they have not been explained. Chief Smith was accurate in his assessment of the heroin problem, and probably was, if anything, conservative about its breadth. Quit reapeating that these numbers are unexplained. Call me, and I will explain them to you again.

    June 29, 2009
  52. john george said:

    Kiffi- From what I gather from my friends who have lived here two or three generations, “polarized issue(s) with firmly , even rigidly held opinions on both sides,” has been a pattern long before Al Roder came here. In fact, from some of the articles I have read recently about problems with city governments in other small towns, I think it is safe to say that this is a common pattern for a small town. The inference that Al Roder was the cause of this in issues in Northfield is inacurate, in IMO.

    June 29, 2009
  53. Griff Wigley said:

    David L, you’re right, I should have stated up front that I thought David Hvistendahl should have disclosed on his radio that he was representing Chief Smith. I had planned to add a comment, rather than putting it in the blog post. But I delayed and you beat me to it. I should have done it right away.

    As for why I did this ‘update’ at all, I think it was a significant piece to appear in the media by a significant person in the community, no different than a commentary in the Northfield News.

    I didn’t take sides about the issue in the post. It was just “here’s what Hvisty is saying this week and here are some background articles in the Nfld News on it.”

    I think we are still a long way from knowing all the relevant details of the Lansing/Roder/Smith era and I think it’s good to have a place where the public can discuss it.

    June 30, 2009
  54. Curt Benson said:

    David L, does Goodhue Cty have to notify the public when its investigation is completed or closed? What is keeping Goodhue from sitting on this forever?

    June 30, 2009
  55. David Ludescher said:

    Griff: There was nothing “new” as in newsworthy in your post. Just by publishing it, it gives the appearance of taking sides. Since when is it newsworthy to publish someone’s gossip?

    We will never know the relevant details of the Lansing/Roder/Smith era. We don’t know any of the relevant details of the press conference, and all the facts should be out, and they are not. You and Hvisty are sullying Roder’s reputation without a basis. And, you are doing it on the basis on unknown allegations from Roder’s subordinate who had both motive and opportunity to make allegations to preserve his job.

    June 30, 2009
  56. kiffi summa said:

    Gary Smith: If you are watching this ‘hijacked’ discussion which became centered on you by those who wish to distract from the ongoing and relevant part of the Lansing/ Roder era, I wish you would provide a link to the long posting you did on your blog, sometime late in the summer , and before your last surgery, explaining many of the questions which have arisen again, and are being rediscussed (without a lot of source material) here.
    Would that be possible? The level of speculation on all these issues is just furthering controversy, and is not one bit enlightening.
    If you have a way to link to that lengthy, but very relevant blog posting of yours, please do so.

    June 30, 2009
  57. kiffi summa said:

    Curt : I would have to guess, from the tens of thousands of $$ that have been spent( and the city council voted to spend) by Mr. Roder’s attorney trying to keep Goodhue from charging this out, that it could sit for a very long time.

    20,000 pp. of docs in Lansing’s case, many of them overlapping with Mr. Roder’s… I think I might be remembering correctly that about $26,000 of legal fees in Mr. Roder’s attorney’s fees, paid, or obligated to be paid by city, and before any charges are brought.
    Just given those two ‘facts’, why is it you expect this to be any sort of normal legal procedure? Mix in the supposition (as noted above) of federal issues, and we slow the process even more…

    So I guess the answer to “what is keeping Goodhue from sitting on this” is; mucho defense $$$, the extreme bulk of docs, and the possible federal level of involvement.

    Since the city of Northfield is paying, Why is the ‘city’ not asking for an update, one which could be made public, since it is the city’s $$$ (i.e.taxpayer’s) which is being spent.
    I think your asking that at a council meeting would be far more effective than asking on Locally Grown… well, then again, maybe not.

    June 30, 2009
  58. David Ludescher said:

    Curt: No, and no one knows. My guess is that Goodhue County has completed its investigation, but that they haven’t closed the case. As long as the case is “under investigation” they don’t have to say anything.

    Maybe it’s like the case for weapons of mass destruction; they are still looking for the evidence.

    June 30, 2009
  59. Curt Benson said:

    Thanks Kiffi and David L for your comments. Another issue in play is that if Roder is not charged (or is it convicted?) as a result of the Goodhue investigation, he gets a $25,000 check from Northfield.

    What is clear is that Goodhue has not been up to the task. Was there a better way?

    June 30, 2009
  60. David Ludescher said:

    Curt: If Smith had let another agency investigate from the beginning, the process could have proceeded as an ordinary criminal investigation. In my opinion, everyone, except possibly Smith, would have been better off.

    June 30, 2009
  61. kiffi summa said:

    Am I incorrect in thinking it was NOT a matter of who Chief Smith would “let” investigate (as you state above, David); it was denied by Rice County who felt it was a conflict for them, and then had to go to an adjacent gov’t unit ?

    June 30, 2009
  62. kiffi summa said:

    Yes, Griff. There are a lot of answers that should be noted in this blog post of Chief Smith’s.
    One of the most important is that the press conference was announced in the administrator’s Friday report the week before. Other important facts is the unreturned phone call to Richardson , and the uncompleted memo that Smith asked Schroeder to provide to Richardson.
    Still another is the status of the never implemented Not in My Back Yard program that is the substance of councilor Cashman’s questioning of Schroeder at the council meeting that Curt Linked to; the fact that the program was never put in place negates the point that none of the mentioned agencies participated in the non-existing program.

    June 30, 2009
  63. Curt Benson said:

    Kiffi, you wrote in 39.1 that Smith announced the press conference in the Friday memo the week before. Smith wrote in his blog that Griff linked to in #39:

    I released an announcement of a upcoming press conference in the Friday Report released by the city administrator the week before. I didn’t release the content of my statement out of respect to the media and quite frankly to prevent the information being leaked to the press prematurely before I could provide the information to council members the day of the conference which was done by email.

    I find no mention of a press conference in the Friday memo from 6/29/2007. Under the police heading in the memo it does say, “Next week, we start the process of public education on the growing concern of drug use in our community, specifically the use of heroin by a younger segment of our population.”

    So, Smith’s statement in his blog is quite the opposite of what he said wrote in the Friday memo. He blogs that he announced a press conference but didn’t reveal the content. In the memo, there is no mention of a press conference, but the content is revealed.

    Kiffi, you’re a document freak like me. Am I reading this wrong? Maybe I’m missing something. I apologize to Smith in advance if I am. Here’s the memo in which Smith claims he announces a press conference, but doesn’t reveal what the conference is about:

    June 30, 2009
  64. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: That is correct. However, Chief Smith indicated that he conducted some kind of an investigation himself. If it had anything to do with Lansing or Roder, who are his bosses, good police procedure should dictate that he stay away from those investigations.

    June 30, 2009
  65. victor summa said:

    Curt B wrote in # 40

    “Another issue in play is that if Roder is not charged (or is it convicted?) as a result of the Goodhue investigation, he gets a $25,000 check from Northfield.”

    My recollection of that council play is … in September of last year, Roder finally signed the agreement accepting a $25,000 settlement guaranteeing to not sue the City for any damages. Hiding behind a fear of law suit defense, the
    Council voted 5 to 2 to pay big Al.

    The Guilty or not guilty caveat you mentioned Curt, is I believe attached to further payment of Roder’s defense charges being run up by his pricy attorney, who is evidently defending what Roder hasn’t yet been charged with. How’s that work David L, find a city council who formerly lived in the pocket of city administrator and then let them run financial interference for the errant administrator?

    In any event, this thread … might legitimately ask, why didn’t Roder throw the windfall 25Gs at the mortgage that he evidently has never paid a penny toward?


    June 30, 2009
  66. kiffi summa said:

    Curt: I see what you are saying, but I think you have to read between the lines a bit in ALL the wordings of the Friday Reports i.e.: look at the first sentence in the police section, the one about meeting with the Mexican Consulate. The wording says they discussed items of “mutual concerns”; I take that as the raids in Viking terrace since that was going on at that time, or just previously. But it uses less inflammatory wording.

    So then when you get to the last sentence re: heroin use, the term is begin “public education” when a more specific term would have been begin “public education” ‘by holding a press conference to explain to the citizens the situation we are dealing with’…
    And indeed it is more specific than I would have thought, because it uses the word “heroin” rather than drugs, substance abuse, or some other more general term.
    So, in my reading, it both complies and varies from the statement in the chief’s blog, not so much in substance as in degree.

    I took that whole long blog of Chief Smith’s to be a recounting of the events as he saw it, without going into a lot of excruciating detail, to explain his process and rationale to the public that was excoriating him for that press conference, and in David L.’s opinion, “sullying ” NF’s reputation.
    I took that statement as one from someone who was explaining, maybe at a point where he was really worrying about the possible negatives of that last surgery. I think there was nothing but honest intention in it.

    Do I agree with all of Chief Smith’s positions? No, especially not the drug dogs in the school/parking lot.
    Do I believe, as he says, that it was important to bring the issue to the public eye, so the school district would acknowledge the full extent of the problem? Yes, I do, because I believe that the police bought drugs in the hall right outside the school office more than once.

    Furthermore, we live in a drug culture; it is unfortunate, but we do… and you cannot “sully” the image of one town just because it has serious drug users. I do not believe in special little places, I believe in real small towns; and right now they all have varying levels of drug problems.

    That’s all for now, Curt … I think this thread got ‘hijacked’, and I just participated in the hijacked issue, and I think the original subject also has great bearing on the climate of this town, and if the Roder case goes on up to the statute of limitations, six years, then I think there will be a lot of unresolved animosities for a long, long time. And I would have to include a lot of citizens’ dollars spent to protect the choices that councilors made during that time.

    P.S., Curt… Thanks for calling me a document freak; that’s a compliment.

    June 30, 2009
  67. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: How did Roder’s mortgages affect Northfield? Why are they relevant now?

    June 30, 2009
  68. kiffi summa said:

    David: Where did I say Mr. Roder’s MORTGAGES affected NF?
    I didn’t…..

    July 1, 2009
  69. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: You are right. The mortgages don’t affect Northfield; they aren’t news. Someday, perhaps depending upon Lansing’s trial, Roder’s mortgages might have some relevance.

    Regarding the heroin press conference, I was in the middle of another press conference which was intentionally misleading to the public. It deeply saddens me to see law enforcement get into the media manipulation business. I think that is what happened here. Hopefully, we learned something.

    July 1, 2009
  70. kiffi summa said:

    David: What you wrote in 44.2 about “another press conference that was intentionally misleading to the public” is, IMO, exactly the kind of muckraking but non-helpful, non-constructive comment that is often made in Northfield …or the midwest … or the planet…
    What is the point, David, in the context of this thread, of making that kind of statement with no specificity? Do you want to fix the ‘problem’ or just complain about it?
    It bothers me that someone as engaged as you are in some of these issues does not care to try and fix something you see, and seem to feel is wrong; but yet will ask very pointed, and critical questions of others as you did… and wrongly, I might add … of me in #44.
    And then when you reply, you just slough off the wrongly attributed comment you directed at me.

    I frankly think that is an essential element of what is not functioning well, here in NF; it’s exemplified by the anonymous commenters at the NFNews that Griff doesn’t ever want me to mention, but there is no positive gain in just throwing a bunch of crap up to see what will stick …

    You’re too much an active , rather than anonymous, factor in this community to use that technique, IMO. We certainly don’t always agree, but that is not necessary; what’s necessary is that productive discussion ensue, and with a goal of working out problems.

    July 1, 2009
  71. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: The problem that I would like to fix on this post is the muck-raking against Roder.

    This particular muck-raking against Roder has its genesis with Smith and his unknown allegations.

    July 1, 2009
  72. kiffi summa said:

    I’m sorry , but Mr. Roder did enough on his own , without Chief Smith’s allegations and whether or not anything will come of them.
    In my opinion,Mr. Roder was a master at lining people up on sides and pitting them against each other… Deja vu, Denison, IA. And that’s what I was referring to when I said the effects will long be felt.

    July 1, 2009
  73. john george said:

    Kiffi- Did you see my post 35?

    July 1, 2009
  74. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: The other thing that Northfield should do is make sure that we don’t let future law enforcement have the power to make decisions of behalf of the City and the City Council.

    There was absolutely no reason that the information in the press conference couldn’t have been shared with Roder and City Council beforehand so that the City Council could have decided what to do. My guess is the backlash is what caused Smith to present these allegations against Roder.

    July 1, 2009
  75. john george said:

    David L.- I think I understand what you are saying, there, but I’m not sure it is wise to have the police department driven by political pressures. There is a reason they are called “law enforcement.” It is just my opinion, but I feel there has been too much politics mixed into some police departments. Laws should not be established to be flexible with the political winds that happen to be blowing at the time. If the city wants to hide its head in the sand in response to a problem like drug use, then I suppose it can, but the whole city suffers for it. To require a law enforcement leader to have to get political approval to share findings of an investigation is just not wise, IMO.

    July 1, 2009
  76. David Ludescher said:

    John: The “findings” were shared with the Twin City media before anyone else. How about sharing the information with your superior first? How about sharing the information with the governing body – the City Council?

    Then to have the same subordinate make unknown allegations against his boss shortly after catching grief for the press conference. Now, to keep those allegations alive. Draw your own conclusions.

    It’s time to put this Lansing/Roder/Smith thing to bed. Pardon Lansing; tell Goodhue County to drop whatever they are doing; and don’t let the next police chief call press conferences.

    July 1, 2009
  77. Patrick Enders said:

    Wait. Gary Smith, Lee Lansing, Al Roder… Victor is posting, and Denison IA has been invoked.

    What year is this? 🙂

    (p.s. Welcome back, Victor.)

    July 1, 2009
  78. john george said:

    David L.- Ok. I see what you are saying. I did not understand that when the police chief had his news conference, the rest of the city government was unaware of his findings. I missed that detail in all the falderall. That puts a little different light on it for me. Thanks for the correction.

    July 1, 2009
  79. kiffi summa said:

    It’s 2009, two years later, one day short of the actual day that has been in question, and these issues have not been been resolved… and the duration of this devilish mess is a continual burden on this community.
    If the statute of limitations on Mr. Roder’s case is six years, does Goodhue intend to try for a record?

    David L: I think some of your statements in the long 44 exchange with JG are still very misleading.

    JG: did you read the long statement from Gary Smith which Griff linked to in #39? You may find some different answers there, and yes, I did read your #35.

    July 2, 2009
  80. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: Regarding the lessons we should have learned in two years, I would propose: Northfield should implement some more controls over the police chief’s civil authority. He/she should not have control over civil decisions, such as press conferences. Period. You don’t catch criminals at press conferences.

    Even if Smith wasn’t trying to deflect criticism, pad his resume, or protect his job, the potential to do so exists. We are still dealing with the negative consequences two years later.

    July 2, 2009
  81. john george said:

    Kiffi- Yes, I read the link. What does this have to do with Mr. Roder? There is only one reference there, and it seems only to verify that Chief Smith communicated with him. If David L’s. assertions are incorrect, then this might be verification of that. As I said before, I believe your assertions about Mr. Roder being the “common denominator” in the “mess” being discussed are inacurate. You and Victor have lived here much longer and been quite visibly and vocally involved in city government affairs, but that in no way makes you a “common denominator” in what has happened any more than Mr. Roder is. See what I am getting at?

    July 2, 2009
  82. kiffi summa said:

    JOhn:: I suggested you read that link NOT per Mr. Roder, but to address some of David’s assertions, thinking that reading it might give you some different perspectives.

    P.S. Although I do not mean to be rude, I rarely see what you are getting at as our minds seem to work in very different ways; but particularly not in this instance as neither Victor nor I have been in a decision making capacity that would in any way be comparable to the power that can be exerted by a city administrator or elected official. There is no parallel; and making such an obvious assertion is neither clever, IMO , nor veiled.

    July 2, 2009
  83. john george said:

    Kiffi- I am not trying to say anything veiled or otherwise. Much of the upheavel in the city over the last couple years has been in how relationships seem to affect policy and actions. My opinion is that Mr. Roder has no more responsibility in the events than you and Victor do. If you believe otherwise, then you can do so, but I don’t believe your assertions have basis. I believe there would have been turmoil no matter who was in the administrator’s office.

    July 2, 2009
  84. kiffi summa said:

    David: In 44.3 , I wrote a very thoughtful, and sincere response to you.
    You have not responded to it, but instead go back to your rote assertions which all center on assessing blame to Gary Smith alone.

    I do not think it is possible for any one of us to know what is what with the Gary Smith initiation of the investigation against Mr. Roder until ‘it’ all comes out … and it may never.

    I think Northfield is a better place, not a “sullied” place, for the outing of the heroin issue, regardless of the specifics of its numbers.

    Ask any of the families that have been involved, if people now say hello instead of shunning them in the grocery store … ask the kids who thought they had messed up so badly that they thought no one would ever listen to them, or love them, again … ask the users and families of users that now have access to an appropriate doctor here at our city owned hospital… The benefits go on and on…

    You may have reason to have a lot of angst with Gary Smith, I know nothing about the facts of that; but I sincerely feel Northfield is better off now, after that press conference, than it was before.

    You cannot “sully” a town’s reputation by having that town face up to, and work on, its problems. That town should only be applauded.

    July 2, 2009
  85. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: There probably is some unfairness in bringing up other press conferences in this thread. This thread is about the Al Roder rumors. And, we should probably stick to those rumors.

    Suffice it to say that we need to remember that the rumor starter had plenty of motive to start a rumor. And, he has had plenty of help in keeping it going.

    July 3, 2009
  86. kiffi summa said:

    David: your reply in 44.11 is really hypocritical since you were the one who introduced Gary Smith’s name in #2!

    July 3, 2009
  87. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: Yeah. I said I was hypocritical. I did the same thing to Smith that I accused him of doing. It wasn’t fair. Let’s just stick to the rumors about Roder.

    July 3, 2009
  88. kiffi summa said:

    Ok, David… Let’s just stick to the facts about Mr. Roder.
    What, in your legal opinion, is incorrect on the information on David Hvistendahl’s radio show; or is it just that you do not think those statements are relevant?

    July 3, 2009
  89. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: Is there anything worth talking about?

    July 3, 2009
  90. kiffi summa said:

    ? Quien sabe ?

    July 3, 2009
  91. john george said:

    David L. & Kiffi- These “facts” presented above align with my post on the Lee Lansing thread. They only provide fodder for a trial and conviction in the press. It appears to me that there is inconsistency in what the mayor presented about the reimbursement. I’m not clear how this is supposed to reflect on Mr. Roder. We have yet to be presented with the investigatable alegations given to Goodhue County. Until those are known, we only have speculation and inuendo as to how Mr. Roder’s actions above affected the city government process. I think David has a good question- What is there to discuss? And what will it accomplish other than deepening the existing schism within the community?

    July 3, 2009
  92. Patrick Enders said:

    On this week’s show, David Hvistendahl and Britt Ackerman discussed how the progress (or lack thereof) towards closing the investigation of Al Roder may relate to the upcoming trial(s) of Lee Lansing.

    Disclosure: David was employed by Gary Smith, who in turn was employed by Al Roder and Lee Lansing. Gary Smith once conducted an investigation of Al Roder. Hvistendahl, Moersch & Dorsey, P.A. are also sponsors of David’s show. Make of it what you will.

    July 4, 2009
  93. David Ludescher said:

    Patrick: What was the conclusion?

    July 4, 2009
  94. Patrick Enders said:

    Couldn’t boil it down short enough to type it on my phone. Give it a listen if you are interested. Skip it if you are not.

    July 4, 2009
  95. David Ludescher said:

    Councilor Pokorney had an interesting observation. Smith alleged wrongdoing on Roder’s part. Yet, two years later, Lansing is the only one being charged.

    It’s still unclear who gets to decide that the investigation is over. Perhaps Northfield should just pay the $25,000.00 to Roder and move on. At the very least, a deadline should be set for payment.

    July 26, 2009
  96. Ross Currier said:

    David –

    Ah, it’s warming up and we’ve finally found something on which we can disagree…

    Councilor Pokorney is quoted as saying “When are we going to hear about what Al did do or what Al didn’t do?”

    Personally, I would say that this statement indicates a desire to actually find out if former City Administrator Roder did or did not do something wrong.

    My understanding of the deal between the former City Council and the former City Administrator would be that the former City Administrator would only get the $25,000 if he did not do something wrong.

    I, personally, would not be supportive of giving former City Administrator Roder $25,000 unless we determine that he did not do something wrong.

    A more appropriate deadline, at least in my mind, would be for the Goodhue County to conclude its investigation and, thus, make the determination on whether or not former City Administrator Roder should be paid the $25,000.

    Former City Councilor Cashman raises the possibility that the statute of limitations may prevent former City Administrator Roder from being charged.

    Goodhue County Attorney Stephen Betcher seems confident that this won’t occur; however, Goodhue County Attorney Betcher did predict a year ago that the investigation of former City Administrator Roder would be concluded in a couple of months.

    I hope Councilor Pokorney will follow up on this matter to assure that the citizens of Northfield find out what former City Administrator Roder did or didn’t do…and soon.

    July 26, 2009
  97. Curt Benson said:

    David L., I too, have not yet been convicted of a crime. Where’s my $25,000?

    July 26, 2009
  98. David Ludescher said:

    Ross: I am troubled that the City has no control over, and the public has no access to whatever information is being held. Smith’s allegations appeared to be a personal vendetta at the time they were filed. Nothing in the last two years suggests otherwise.

    No one has offered an explanation for the delay. The only rationale I can guess at this late date is that the “investigation” isn’t in the Goodhue County Attorney’s control. The City Council should be able to get an explanation of why this is taking so long.

    July 26, 2009
  99. Ross Currier said:

    David –

    I have repeatedly tried to suggest otherwise over the past two years.

    I have heard about a half dozen allegations from about a dozen individuals. These would be allegations regarding distinct situations or events from individuals who include former elected officials, former appointed officials, and former city staff members.

    None of them are former Chief Smith or former Mayor Lansing. You would have us to believe that all allegations are from former Chief Smith and the Northfield News would have us believe that all allegations are from former Mayor Lansing. I will repeat, none of what I have heard comes from former Chief Smith or former Mayor Lansing.

    You have chosen to ignore me or dismiss my concerns as based on rumors. I will admit that they, as mere second-hand allegations, are indeed not much more than rumors. However, the similarity of the behaviors described across separate and distinct situations lead me to believe that there may be some significant, and serious, substance behind these rumors.

    I believe that I have a right to draw my own conclusions from these allegations or rumors.

    I have not been pursuing or spreading these rumors, patiently, trustingly, and perhaps naively, waiting for Goodhue County Attorney Betcher’s legal process to run its course, and assuming that the people actually involved with these situations and possessing the documentation would be directly following up with Goodhue County Attorney Betcher. However, it appears that more and more citizens of Northfield have heard, or are beginning to suspect, that there might have been something besides heroin press conferences and liquor store consultant studies going on down at City Hall during the period from March 2006 to July 2008.

    You and I are both troubled by the delay and lack of explanation for the delay. Goodhue County Attorney Betcher predicted that it would concluded in weeks, not months and all other legal professionals with whom I discussed the matter back in the late summer and early fall of 2007 said that such an investigation should take two, at most, three months.

    I, on the other hand, am not troubled by the the fact that the City has no control the information.

    Some of the allegations, or rumors, that I have heard have put some of the former and current Councilors in, my opinion, a bad light, and some of the allegations, or rumors, have suggested that current staff members may have been involved with some of the questionable actions or practices that may have occurred between March of 2006 and July of 2008. In fact, I hope, patiently, trustingly, and perhaps naively, that these people have no control over this information as I think the citizens of Northfield have a right to know the truth, the whole truth, and truth without spin.

    I, also, am not troubled that the citizens have no access to the information. If, indeed, all of the allegations, or rumors, that I have heard from a variety of sources are completely baseless then I believe they should be a private matter between the investigators and those being investigated. However, if there is substance behind these allegations, or rumors, I hope that you and I agree that the citizens of Northfield have the right to know this information.

    Current Mayor Rossing has made many statements about rebuilding the trust between the citizens and the Council and between the citizens and the Staff. For me, paraphrasing Councilor Pokorney, finding out what Al, and others, did do or what Al, and others, didn’t do is a key step in rebuilding that trust.

    I repeat my hope that Councilor Pokorney will follow up on this matter to assure that the citizens of Northfield find out what former City Administrator Roder did or didn’t do…and soon.

    July 27, 2009
  100. David Henson said:

    David L and Ross, Does it seem strange to you, if the above transactions are accurate, that this would occur just as someone moves to town for a new position? I mean, one can see this type of thing occuring between people of long association (greasing the system – maybe innocently) but between people brand new to each other?

    July 27, 2009
  101. Patrick Enders said:

    David H,
    Two questions:

    1) How is “greasing the system” ever innocent?

    2) In your mind, does the fact that the complex financial interactions between the Mayor, his business partner, and the City Administrator occurred shortly after the Mayor brought the Administrator to town make the financial dealings seem more suspicious, or less?

    July 27, 2009
  102. David Henson said:

    Patrick, you are like dealing with Freud, answer my question first?

    1) I suppose if your best freind were waiting for you in the waiting room and said he had a headache and you grabbed him a packet of advil and a glass of water. Might break institution rules but your trust relationship allows an interaction that would not occur if it were a stranger.

    2) I don’t know if I think these transactions were complex but they seem odd. Either government is more corrupt than I would imagine or some actor in this must have been willing to break down normal trust boundaries really fast.

    July 27, 2009
  103. Patrick Enders said:

    David H,
    You didn’t address your previous question(s) to me, so it didn’t seem my place to answer for David and Ross.

    Does it seem strange? Yes.

    Does it seem innocent? Maybe, maybe not. It seems strange enough that I wouldn’t try to declare myself one way or the other. It took several people working together to make those financial arrangements. On the other hand, none of the people involved are part of the city of Northfield government any longer, and as a result none of them are presently accountable to / representatives of citizens like you and me any longer. As a result of their departure from Northfield politics, I’ll be happy to just watch how it all plays out in the courts. Or doesn’t.

    Now on to your present analogy #1:
    I wouldn’t need to grab an advil and a glass of water for that patient, because our nurses and front desk staff are quick and good at taking care of these things promptly when needed. Also, for the sake of the licensing of myself and my clinic, I will follow the rules regarding such things.

    Now, once they are checked in (which can be a nearly instantaneous/simultaneous process when needed), I do have the right to dispense that medicine myself, quickly and within the rules.

    If true, lying on/for a mortgage application is a whole different ball of wax from the situation you bring up.

    July 27, 2009
  104. David Henson said:

    Patrick, I meant that your friend was not a patient but waiting for you to get off work to attend the Save the Whales conference or such. I’m sure you have innocently bent rules. But, I must admit, I am bit surprised at how brazen you are even directing the nurse to take care of your personal business.

    Of course, lying on a mortgage ap would be wrong.

    July 27, 2009
  105. David Ludescher said:

    Ross: We are starting from different premises. I am assuming that Roder didn’t do anything wrong because I don’t have any evidence. You are assuming that he did do something wrong because you have heard rumors.

    Essentially what Pokorney is saying, and to which I agree is, why is it that Smith turned in allegations about Roder, and all we have heard about is Lansing? No one seems to know why, or even if Roder is being investigated.

    July 27, 2009
  106. Patrick Enders said:

    Like most everyone, I have failed to follow a rule here or there in my life – sometimes through ignorance, sometimes through inattention, and no doubt sometimes because I thought the rule was silly and the consequences of obedience/disobedience, for myself and for society as a whole, was entirely trivial. Once in a while, I may have even broken a rule to make a point (can’t think of an instance right now, but I’m sure I did back in my surly adolescent/early adult years… ah yes, I’ve thought of one or twenty instances now).

    On the other hand, I am scrupulous (to the best of my ability) when it comes to accurately filling out mortgage applications, supporting letters, and other official paperwork. I know such things are trivial neither to myself, nor to anyone else.

    July 27, 2009
  107. David Ludescher said:

    David H: It would even more strange if that is what Smith was investigating.

    July 27, 2009
  108. David Henson said:

    Patrick, you are focusing on a trival part of my post 53. I am not casting towards anyone in this mess – I just find it curious how people who apparently just met get embroiled in financial transactions that would seem dubious (even if legal). I would expect people just meeting to be more circumspect unless the whole thing was innocent.

    July 27, 2009
  109. kiffi summa said:

    One need only to look at the recent series of exchanges to see how ‘exercised’ people still get over these matters of the last two years…. and therfor the need for a resolve from Goodhue County.
    Being a person who’s major career path was in designing for the theatre, I know how important a strong initial visual impression is, and this is why I got exercised over the photos chosen by the NFNews for their lead story; i,e, Jim Pokorney looking conflicted, Mayor Lansing looking frustrated and defensive, Noah Cashman from a low angle as if he were already the judge on the bench, and last but certainly not least, Al Roder looking angelically heavenward with a beatific light shining on him!

    Yes, it IS theatre; art only imitates life.

    July 27, 2009
  110. Patrick Enders said:

    David H,
    That’s not me!

    July 27, 2009
  111. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: Right now, there is nothing for Goodhue County to resolve. There aren’t any allegations of wrongdoing.

    Pay Roder the $25,000.00 and be done with it. If the Smith allegations have anything to do with Roder/Lansing we would have heard about them by now. If the allegations relate to something else (like the mortgages), they are irrelevant.

    July 27, 2009
  112. David Henson said:

    Patrick, I just use the wrong numbering but I was referring out other thread (not David L). But you sure are correct about the mortgage fraud:

    WASHINGTON – Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation’s largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony

    July 27, 2009
  113. Patrick Enders said:

    Yes, politicians of many political persuasions can be corrupted/’persuaded’ with questionable or even illegal gifts. Sadly, liberal politicians fall prey to / volunteer for such kickbacks just as conservatives do.

    For example, take a look at what’s happening with the ‘Blue Dog Democrats’ re: health care reform right now. They have received more campaign donations in the last 3 months than they did in all of 2003-2004. And that’s legal bribes – almost all of it from insurance companies and health care providers they are supposed to be reforming. It’s very hard to believe that they are not bought and paid for on this issue.

    Of course, there are also plenty of Republicans willing to have their palms greased. It’s wrong no matter who it is – but I have to admit, it pisses me off more when it’s a liberal. While I expect no better of conservatives, the liberals are the good guys, after all. 🙂

    July 27, 2009
  114. David Henson said:

    Yes, politicians of many political persuasions can be corrupted/’persuaded’ with questionable or even illegal gifts

    Patrick, you are correct!!! (good thinking), which is why small limted government is so important

    July 27, 2009
  115. Patrick Enders said:

    Ummm, no. That does not necessarily follow.

    July 27, 2009
  116. kiffi summa said:

    David: There have to be allegations of wrongdoing for Smith to have filed a complaint; you don’t file a complaint because you don’t like the person’s haircut!

    How do you KNOW there aren’t any allegations of wrongdoing?
    If there is no wrongdoing how has David Lillehaug (Roder’s attorney) run up a bill in the tens of thousands BEFORE Mr. Roder is even charged?

    Why are you so anxious to pay Mr. Roder the $25,000?

    Really, David, I think you’re letting your all too obvious displeasure with Smith color your reason.

    July 28, 2009
  117. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: Not only is Roder presumed innocent, he hasn’t even been accused of anything (Ross’s rumors notwithstanding). After two years, it is time for Northfield to retake control of this situation, and put it to bed.

    Pardon Lansing, pay Roder, forget Smith, and get on with business. The junior high school drama is over. There is nothing left to gain by keeping this alive. Why do we even care what happens now?

    July 28, 2009
  118. kiffi summa said:

    David: We care because lives and reputations have been ruined,businesses have been ruined,etc.,etc., and city (taxpayer) dollars have been spent in a legal defense where you say there is nothing because there are as yet no charges.

    Northfield can NOT take control of this situation as you recommend, because once someone, anyone, ‘agresses’ with a complaint that must be answered (if deemed worthy of investigation) then the process must move forward ’til resolved.

    As far as “innocent until proven guilty” … to my great distress, I think that philosophy has become a joke.
    And just for an example, do you think our city council, past and present, think Lee lansing is “innocent until proven guilty”?
    What a farce!

    July 28, 2009
  119. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: Whatever allegations Smith made about Roder are almost certainly now irrelevant to Northfield. We can cut our costs by just declaring that we don’t care anymore. That attitude will allow us to once again take control.

    The Goodhue County Attorney can do whatever they want. The only reason we should care is the $25,000. But, it is not fair for the allegations to be hanging out there this long even if Roder is guilty of something.

    July 28, 2009
  120. kiffi summa said:

    David: Do you think it is fair for the allegations against Lee ansing to be “hanging out there” this long “even if… guilty of something” is fair?
    And if so, please explain the difference.
    Thank you.

    July 28, 2009
  121. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: Lee’s charges are a little different. But, no. Plus, we all knew that Lee had an involvement with store, he disclosed his conflict, and he recused himself from all votes. Prosecuting him just doesn’t serve any legitimate government interest any more.

    July 28, 2009
  122. kiffi summa said:

    David : Agreed .

    We all knew, the council all knew. and even AFTER they knew, they themselves ( the council) kept identifying the Tires Plus property as their preferred liquor store site. Check the council meetings of Feb/Mar of that year.

    However.. does the content of David Hvistendahl’s radio show this evening change your mind about whether or not Mr. Roder should continue to be investigated?

    July 28, 2009
  123. john george said:

    Victor- After two years, I’m still a little unclear as to what the charges actually were in Lee’s case. Was it a conflict of interest with the property, or was it a misuse of his position as mayor to influence city staff in their recomendations of the Tires Plus property? It seems like I hear both allegations expressed in differnt posts, here.

    July 28, 2009
  124. kiffi summa said:

    59.3 was Kiffi, not Victor…

    July 29, 2009
  125. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: I don’t know what he said.

    July 29, 2009
  126. Griff Wigley said:

    KYMN should have the audio of Hvisty’s show from yesterday up later today.

    July 29, 2009
  127. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: What did Hvisty say?

    July 29, 2009
  128. kiffi summa said:

    Oh no, no, no, mr Lu-desh-er … I would not presume to paraphrase David Hvistendahl !

    What did YOU hear him say?

    July 29, 2009
  129. kiffi summa said:

    tell ‘ya what I am wondering about, though… How does anyone suppose the NFNews will ‘handle’ this?

    I would be willing to bet they just ignore it… challenge, anyone?

    July 29, 2009
  130. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: I am trying to decide if it is worth the effort to listen. I would expect that Hvisty is just putting his client’s spin on it. Given that we don’t have any information from the investigation, there is no way to verify it either.

    July 29, 2009
  131. kiffi summa said:

    David: value is often in the eye of the beholder, or in this case the ear of the listener.
    However , it is a blow by blow recounting of a meeting in city hall between Mr. Roder, Mr. Smith, the city’s human resources director and at least three attorneys, one of which was DH… so you ‘judge’ …

    July 29, 2009
  132. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: I listened to Hvisty’s show. Roder shouldn’t have an attorney but the accuser, Smith, has TWO? For what? It sounds like Smith was expecting to get fired, and that he was “investigating” Roder to get some dirt. Draw your own conclusions.

    To chide Pokorney is overboard. How is Pokorney supposed to know what’s going on when everything is top-secret. If it turns out that Roder has a good claim, we will all thank Pokorney for his $25,000.00 prudence.

    July 29, 2009
  133. Griff Wigley said:

    Here are some of my notes from listening to the Hvistendahl podcast.

    David reveals on the show his account of the July 7 (or 11th?), 2007 meeting at City Hall when Al Roder attempted to fire Gary Smith. (He said he got Smith’s permission to air this.)

    At the meeting: Attorney Roger Knutson representing the city; Al Roder and HR manager Elizabeth Wheeler; Mark Fowler, Police Chiefs Association attorney and Hvistendahl.

    Hvistendahl described it as disciplinary hearing initiated by Roder because Smith was accessing private data on Roder using his SS#.

    Hvistendahl says that prior to this meeting, Smith had sent a letter to Paul Baumaster, asking him to conduct a criminal investigation of Al Roder; and that under MN data practices, police can’t be questioned while the investigation is pending. So they were advising Smith to not answer Knutson’s questions.

    Roder’s claim was backed up with a document that he said showed Smith was doing a search on Roder.

    Hvistendahl says Smith had done a search but used an online service, Accurint that uses publicly available data, that it was basically an address search that any officer can do.

    Smith then realized that it was a document coming from the secure portion of his Homeland Security computer hard drive, and that he now had to report this to Federal authorities since Roder is not entitled as city admin to BCA data.

    Hvistendahl says that Al Roder ordered a city employee who worked in the police department to access the info on Smith’s computer, and that Liz Wheeler’s fax number was involved.

    Hvistendahl says that at the end of the meeting, he suggested that everyone ‘back off’ and that this would a good time for Smith to deal with his health problems.

    July 29, 2009
  134. Griff Wigley said:

    I should mention that Hvisty’s show includes other interesting content, esp. criticism of the former City Council’s handling of misc. Roder and Lansing related stuff.

    July 29, 2009
  135. kiffi summa said:

    David: I don’t know if “chiding Pokorney” was overboard; but I think you’re wrong on your assumption that “everything is top-secret”.

    I do know that Mr. Pokorney was close with Mr. Roder, as evidenced by the fact that he made jokes at council meetings about their weekly poker games.

    There was an awful lot that was not “top-secret”, and an awful lot of lining up sides, and positioning people against each other.

    The closeness of the poker relationship made it entirely inappropriate for Mr. Pokorney to be the one negotiating with Mr. Roder on his settlement agreement, wouldn’t you agree? Instead of offering to take that role, I believe he should have declined it.

    However, it’s only Money (taxpayers money at that) and as important as that is, I think there are even larger issues in that broadcast.

    When , David, will you look at these facts coming out now, as the unfortunate truth, rather than just supporting your choice of players?

    July 30, 2009
  136. David Ludescher said:

    Griff: That is a pretty good summary. Thanks.

    Hvisty didn’t explain how Smith got Roder’s SSN and why he was searching. (Next show?) There seems to have been an implicit agreement that if Roder would back off on the possible firing that Smith would take a leave of absence for the medical reasons.

    There was also rancor about whether Smith had to answer to Roder, or only to the City Council.

    This idea that Smith had a hard drive containing data that only Smith, and no one else in the City could access is a really interesting legal issue that makes my skin cringe, should raise eyebrows with everyone, and should have libertarians jumping.

    Apparently what Smith was doing was conducting his own secret investigation of Roder and storing the results on a hard drive that no other City official is supposed to have access to. I wonder how many of us Smith was investigating and storing on his secret hard drive.

    July 30, 2009
  137. Curt Benson said:

    David and Griff, I’m skeptical of the idea of a “Homeland Security Computer with a secure portion of a hard drive”. What was on the non secure portion of the hard drive? Tetris?

    Did this security breach compromise Smith’s tracking of Rice County Jihadists? I’m guessing that the computer may have been paid for by Homeland Security funds and that the “Homeland Security” idea is a bit of hyperbole on Hvistendahl’s part to emphasize the gravity of the security breach of the computer by Roder’s mole in the NFPD.

    If Roder had a NFPD employee surreptitiously access a secure computer, that would surely be a serious crime. But Hvistendahl said he’s free to discuss this, because there will be no criminal charges in this regard. Hvistendahl also said that Smith said he’d have to report this to the Feds. What happened with that?

    Hvistendahl makes it seem like the smoking gun in Roder’s failed attempt to fire Smith is the document that was apparently faxed to Wheeler from the chief’s secure computer or fax. But apparently no one from the city thought that anyone would question where the document came from. Isn’t the origin of the document the first question someone would ask when seeing it? Could City Attorney Knutson, Wheeler and Roder possibly be that stupid? Is this plausible?

    I’d encourage every one to listen to the show that Griff conveniently linked to in #65 above. I’d like to hear others’ reactions to the show, particularly the part about the meeting.

    July 30, 2009
  138. john george said:

    David- I thought the reference to the information was that it was from a BCA data base, not necessarily a personal hard drive of Smith’s. Perhaps Smith was storing the information in the same data base as the BCA info. This data base would actually have at least statewide info, if not some national. This information, if I understand it, is sensitive and not privy to the general public. I can understand the concern that Smith had in the situation. If someone had access to this data for Roder and the council, then what other data could be compromised? Perhaps I am not seeing this correctly, but I think there is reason for concern here if there was a compromise of the security of this data base. The authorities probably know a lot more about us than we realize or care to admit, for that matter. If we are law-abiding, it is pretty innocuous. If we are not, then perhaps this is another incentive to be law-abiding.

    July 30, 2009
  139. Griff Wigley said:


    We don’t know if a SS# was required to do the search on Roder.

    But my assumption is that Smith’s search on Roder’s background was related to whatever the criminal matter was that he’d already reported to Rice County attorney Beaumaster.

    But you raise a good point: why would Smith put the results of his search in the Homeland Security portion of his hard drive? Did he suspect that Roder had previously been accessing his computer, looking for evidence of mismanagement or other behavior he didn’t approve of?

    As for the leave of absence for the medical reasons, that has long bugged me because it smells of a quid pro quo… and Hvisty’s comments on the show seem to reinforce that impression.

    July 30, 2009
  140. kiffi summa said:

    Really good questions, Curt…

    As to ” apparently no one from the city thought that anyone would question where the document came from” is one of the cruxes( cruci) of the whole attitudinal problem during that administration , IMO.

    There were some who seemed to feel they were above ordinary, and possibly legal, rules of propriety, and even common sense.

    Example: some of the accusations made in the Coulombe-Fiore lawsuit. One does not need anything but common sense to know that you do NOT pressure an employee to fire another employee whose child is a “health risk”.

    What gave that administration the security in their seemingly arrogant attitude ?

    UGH! nasty.

    July 30, 2009
  141. David Ludescher said:

    Curt: The police have access to all kinds of data that the general public is not allowed to see. Why Smith would have this on his computer, and why it was not secured properly are other questions. The larger question is whether our police chief should be able to have data that no one else in the community, including his boss or the City Council has access to.

    After the WMD fiasco, I wouldn’t doubt that police departments are given access, or even required to be access points for Homeland Security.

    (What follow is my best guess as to what happened:)
    This was apparently Smith’s trump card. He knew that there were places on the computer that Roder wasn’t supposed to go (according to the powers that be). However, Roder didn’t realize this. He was just trying to find out why Roder was investigating him. So, when Roder pulled out proof of what Smith was doing, Smith wasn’t worried, even though his lawyers were. Smith pulled the trump card, essentially telling his lawyers and Roder that he wasn’t worried because Roder was violating federal law, and he would have to report him. He had Roder over the barrel. Roder couldn’t take a chance of calling his bluff.

    That was when the suggestion came in to forget about this while Smith took a leave of absence for medical reasons.

    July 30, 2009
  142. David Henson said:

    Maybe rather than hiring professional city managers we just have a turtle race on division and let the winner be administrator for the year.

    July 30, 2009
  143. David Ludescher said:

    Griff: I think your assumption is incorrect. By Hvisty’s comments, it sounds as if Smith had submitted something to Beaumaster prior to this meeting. When Smith went on leave, he submitted another report.

    I am suspecting that all Smith had on Roder is the mortgage accusations, and that he didn’t learn about it by investigating. That would explain why he didn’t turn the investigation over to another department; he was conducting a personal investigation on Roder.

    July 30, 2009
  144. Griff Wigley said:

    Former Northfield School District Supt. Charlie Kyte has a letter in today’s Nfld News, criticizing the paper for the July 25 story titled The Goodhue saga: Investigation continues two years in.

    The pictures and comments about the
    two council members were not relevant
    to the story and only served to
    tarnish their reputations. The lawsuit
    to which they were named was withdrawn
    soon after it was filed and these two
    individuals were not even linked to
    the story in any significant way.

    In the future I am going to rely on
    the new media (local Internet sites)
    and the oldest media (the local
    grapevine) for my news. It is sure to
    be more timely, accurate and forward

    August 5, 2009
  145. David Ludescher said:

    I don’t know if Dr. Kyte would be any more impressed with Locally Grown’s coverage.

    August 6, 2009
  146. john george said:

    David- One thing is for sure. We don’t lack for entertainment around here.

    August 6, 2009
  147. Griff Wigley said:

    Charlie can’t be trusted, David. He’s a blogger, a podcaster, and a client of mine. 😉

    August 6, 2009
  148. kiffi summa said:

    Dr. Kyte’s letter., criticizing the News for their coverage, has some mixed messages as far as I’m concerned.
    What’s the prime issue Dr. Kyte?… That the news did a rather questionable job of re-reporting? or that the reputation of Northfield is somehow besmirched?

    Frankly, if Northfield’s reputation is tarnished in any way by the problems of its local government, it has ultimately done that to itself, in that citizens must take the responsibility to hold both their elected and hired officials to the community’s desired standards.

    Neither this thread, nor the one on the former EDA director who was let go (on a questionable basis) by the city , have stirred much comment that is substantive. And yet these are the problems of that particular culture that existed at City Hall at that time. If there is no stomach to recognize and work through these problems, we will continue to experience them , in one form or another.

    But I certainly agree, Dr. Kyte, that the ‘re-reporting’ was not of any import; it is essential that we develop a news media that both asks, and strives to answer the hard questions, rather than relying on ‘deliveries’ from City Hall.

    August 7, 2009
  149. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: I understood Charlie to say that the paper made it to appear that Pokorney and Cashman did something wrong, without any justification.

    There hasn’t been much substantive comment; but there aren’t any substantive facts which have been disclosed, either by Smith or Goodhue County. Even the Lansing case has fizzled into allegations of ethical violations.

    I have the same comments about this post that Charlie had about the newspaper article.

    August 7, 2009
  150. Griff Wigley said:

    David, I initiated this post as a report on Hvisty’s pronouncements on his show, not as coverage of the issue.

    When local attorneys speak publicly, it’s news!

    August 8, 2009
  151. kiffi summa said:

    Griff, David: When a local attorney, goes on the local radio, and explains what happens at a meeting he attended at City Hall, and when that explanation goes a long way to explain WHY Mr. Roder is being investigated by Goodhue county… and especially when virtually everyone has been saying one of three things: 1. Why is Mr. Roder being investigated? 2. Who initiated the complaint? and 3. Why is it taking so long? … well then…
    I think it is NEWS!

    It is news you will not hear in the newspaper; it is news provided by a witness in the room, etc., etc., etc. So to the people of the community, no matter which ‘side’ they are on, it is news.

    The amazing thing is that it is like it never happened! like no one heard it! and certainly like no one cares to deal with it in any way, even commenting; seemingly fearful of our town being ‘trashed’ again (which is ridiculous), seemingly fearful of a charismatic leader being exposed, seemingly fearful of their own credibility being questioned, on and on…

    IF THIS NEWS had been on the front page of the NFNews, that front page would become as famous/infamous as the one with Mayor Lansing from two years ago, ( wasn’t that also in July?) and might serve as virtual ‘bookends’ to a conflict, the effects of which we have experienced , and the results of which are not yet fully realized.

    That’s WHY it IS * NEWS * , David .

    August 8, 2009
  152. David Ludescher said:

    Griff: Hvisty didn’t say anything new.

    August 8, 2009
  153. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: The “news” from the meeting was that Smith was afraid of being fired, brought two attorneys to defend himself, and then threatened Roder with reporting him to the federal government if Roder tried to fire him.

    I sticking with my original theory – turning in the “investigation” was Smith’s insurance policy not to get fired. The investigation was great cover – no public disclosure of the facts, and more rumors and Cow-sip (Cow-sip rhymes with gossip, and are facts produced by British ales).

    August 8, 2009
  154. kiffi summa said:

    David: Ah, a lawyerly positioning …
    I’m sure if Norman Butler were not so busy with the Shakespeare play, he would have some comment to make about your assumption of “Cow-sip” in the role of community opinion.
    As a person who has long been fascinated by language, I would have to note that ‘cow-sip’ does not, and in fact can not by any rule of English pronunciation, rhyme with gossip, although you may find a local vernacular that might suspect it !
    Not even Calvin Trillin, the master of both succinct and ‘loose’ rhyme, would expect to get by with that one.

    August 8, 2009
  155. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: There is no reason to believe Smith’s “investigation” is anything but a ruse.

    August 8, 2009
  156. kiffi summa said:

    I Beg to differ, David.
    One might say: there is no reason to believe that it is appropriate for a page of info downloaded from a supposedly secure HS/FBI (whatever) computer to be in the hands of other than the holder of the password of that supposedly secure computer…

    August 8, 2009
  157. Griff Wigley said:

    I’m told that on KYMN’s All-Wheel Drive afternoon show with Jessica Paxton on Friday, Northfield News Managing Editor Suzy Rook said something about there being a big story to hit the paper’s website on Monday.

    Could it be that a decision by Goodhue County is forthcoming on whether to prosecute Al Roder?

    August 9, 2009
  158. Griff Wigley said:

    Here’s the audio of Suzy Rook’s teaser:

    August 10, 2009
  159. Patrick Enders said:

    My guess: prior to his medical leave, Chief Gary Smith started an investigation of a man claiming to be Joseph Lee Heywood. Goodhue County investigators have been quietly investigating the allegations, and charges of identity theft are to be filed this week – putting this year’s DJJD reenactment in doubt.

    August 10, 2009
  160. David Ludescher said:

    Patrick: Actually it was someone claiming to be Joseph Lee Lansing or was that Lee Joseph Lansing?

    August 10, 2009
  161. kiffi summa said:

    Obviously the ‘joys’ of faux news have gotten to both of you …

    Has it ever occurred to you that whether it be Roder or Lansing, or any of the others caught in the horrendous machinations of those two years, that their lives, and their families’ lives, have been impacted beyond belief, and that it is no joking matter?

    Smart alecks abound, while serious issues continue to pile up without public involvement.

    August 10, 2009
  162. john george said:

    Patrick and David- That is great! There has been so much morose stuff around town that, IMO, a little humor is past due. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, then someone else will.

    August 10, 2009
  163. kiffi summa said:

    As usual John, IMO, you don’t get it; they’re not laughing at themselves, they’re making sport of other peoples’ misery…

    How very ‘Christian’!

    August 10, 2009
  164. Patrick Enders said:

    I normally avoid trying to explain humor, but:

    You are mistaken. I am laughing at the “I’ve got a secret that I might reveal on Monday” tease from Suzy, and Griff’s tease of her tease.

    Neither Lee Lansing nor Al Roder was referenced even obliquely in my post.

    August 10, 2009
  165. David Ludescher said:

    Kiffi: I thought there was some irony in the Joseph Lee Heywood and Joseph Lee Lansing name parallels.

    August 10, 2009
  166. john george said:

    Kiffi- I just choose not to be offended by the references Patrick & David made, just as I also choose not to be offended by the slur you made against my convictions. I did get what they were talking about, and I laughed along with them.

    August 10, 2009
  167. kiffi summa said:

    John: no “slur” against YOUR convictions; David often speaks about his Catholicism; he’s a Christian , too. I was certainly raised to be a Christian, and still am culturally a Christian if not a regular churchgoer. I think Patrick might say the same of his upbringing.
    You would presume an exclusivity of use of the word “Christian” which just might offend some ‘other’ Christians.

    August 10, 2009
  168. john george said:

    Well, Kiffi, since you directed the first part of your comment in 82.4 to me, I was assuming your second comment

    How very ‘Christian’!

    was also directed at me. Sorry if I misunderstood you.

    August 11, 2009
  169. Griff Wigley said:

    "Al  Roder and his wife, Robin, recently filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for protection under Chapter 13 of bankruptcy regulations."

    See the May 14 Norfolk Daily News and attached comments: Real estate decline spurred bankruptcy filing.

    Prior to moving to Norfolk to become city administrator, Roder worked in a similar capacity in Northfield, Minn. While there, he and his wife took out a mortgage to purchase a home and property assessed at about $412,000.

    But when Roder accepted the job offer in Norfolk and attempted to sell his Minnesota home, a significant downturn in real estate values translated into financial problems. The Roders had several signed purchase agreements from individuals that fell through. Ultimately, the home in Minnesota sold for about $250,000. But his mortgage balance was higher than that.

    “To put it simply, I did not have the ability to write a check to cover the gap,” he said. The bankruptcy filing also details other debts, but Roder said it was the real estate situation that prompted the bankruptcy filing.

    June 1, 2010
  170. Phil Poyner said:

    This is sad. As Ms Summa mentioned last year, regardless of what may have happened in the past these are still people, families, and it’s a shame to see this sort of thing happen to them. The situation they found themselves in (being underwater on their mortgage) is happeneing to a lot of people these days.

    June 1, 2010
  171. kiffi summa said:

    Mr. Poyner: One should be charitable to all, but my statement “last year” I am positive referred to the former Mayor and his family.

    I have less than positive feelings about the messes the former city administrator dragged this whole community through, aided by a ‘rogue’ council who could not bear to think they might have chosen the wrong side to support, and we are still paying, actual dollars, for Mr. Roder’s legal fees, which that previous council felt he was due…

    June 1, 2010
  172. Phil Poyner said:

    Ah, sorry for the missunderstanding.

    June 1, 2010
  173. Joe Dokken said:

    The state of Minnesota is bankrupt also. I don’t see anyone complaining because we don’t have enough money to pay our bills. Why? Because we will figure some way to fix the problem.

    It would be nice if the Roder’s could have their problem go away along with every other family who is losing their home. (Bankruptcy is not a free pass, as some would think.)That won’t happen….Why? Because rather than rescue hardworking Minnesotan’s we are going to figure a way to give more money to the “poor”. (The poor need help, but lazy people need to get a job!)

    Imagine if middle class Minnesota received the help during these difficult times. Our State would rebound and thousands of good people like the Roder’s would not end up as fodder in the news. Thankfully Al was able to find employment and amazingly his new employer/community likes him, go figure!

    The more important story is who is the real burden on Northfield and its financial woes?

    June 2, 2010
  174. Patrick Enders said:

    Wait, Joe – are you saying that ‘the “poor”‘ and ‘lazy people’ are responsible for our financial woes?

    Furthermore, you think that we should be helping out people with good incomes – rather than helping out poor persons?


    I have sympathy for Al Roder, and everyone else who is going through economic hardship. However, the guy has a steady job with good benefits. Bankruptcy isn’t fun, but it’s not like he’s been laid off, dumped out on the streets, living hand-to-mouth, or living on someone’s couch.

    Furthermore, to some degree his financial problems are of his own making. Even a few years ago, a very nice house could be had in Northfield for well less than $412,000. His purchase of a home at that price seems quite imprudent for a person with a salary of $110,000 or so.

    June 2, 2010
  175. victor summa said:

    Echo Mr Enders position, which by the way, I am seldom inclined to take.

    Nonetheless .. your (Joe Dokken’s) closing remark leaves the readers hanging.

    You wrote:

    The more important story is who is the real burden on Northfield and its financial woes?

    Can you name names, cite situations, venture some opinion as to; Who is the real burden?

    That statement might resuscitate an interesting dialogue.


    June 2, 2010
  176. Joe Dokken said:

    I know you are a smart guy. You don’t rise to the level of your occupation by luck. You worked hard and saved money to pay for your education, made sacrifices, etc… Welfare did not help you get to your level of success. (Student loans are not welfare.) I am sure you know how much welfare has strapped our state and nation. We spend lots of money on National Defense and war related issues. Yet more dollars every year go out to other causes. Such as helping the poor….the ones who really need help, we need to do what we can. But not the lazy poor who need to go and get a job. I would also include people who live off of unemployment because they refuse to work for the same amount or wealthy people who collect Social security (Especially if they don’t need it.) Back in the 80’s I was on unemployment for 12 weeks. I struggled even to stay on the program as long as I did. There were no jobs, in Colorado Springs because congress slashed the defense industry. It is all connected!
    Somebody is paying the rent, the utilities, the medical bills, the groceries, everything for a large percentage of people in Minnesota. I understand the plight of the poor; my life is an open book on helping the poor. The church I led for 17 plus years has a heritage of helping the poor. We never bragged about it then, and now I say something as to refute any notion you have about me towards the poor.
    Never forget there is a limited amount of dollars allocated to each governmental agency. And if my memory is correct, property taxes, gasoline taxes, payroll taxes, license fees, and sales tax are the main generators of income. So, when middle income Minnesota has a foreclosure problem, guess who suffers indirectly? The poor, because every home in foreclosure is one less house paying property taxes. I f we can keep Middle America in their homes revenue dollars into the state, and city coffers stay closer to anticipated budget projections.
    When Middle America can’t keep their home that also means they cut way back on other kinds of spending. Who buys new windows, or remodels a kitchen when you are renting? Absolutely no one. Middle America is the engine which keeps our economy rolling, and the real poor people benefit when the Al Roder’s and Lee Lansing’s flourish at what they are good at offering. Whether it is leadership, or hardware supplies, I miss their presence and what they did to generate vitality in Northfield.
    Northfield is an amazing community, many tax dollars are generated indirectly because of the colleges even though they pay none themselves. Colleges represent Middle America, and as much as we hate to see poor people suffer, when you and I cannot trade our goods and services, poor people suffer even more.

    June 2, 2010
  177. Patrick Enders said:

    Actually, I think that my position in life has a lot to do with luck. I was lucky to be born in a state with a well-funded education system (Wisconsin, circa 1969). I was lucky to be born to two parents who taught me and pushed me and challenged me, and set high expectations for me. I was lucky that my parents were able to choose to live in an area with excellent local public schools. Furthermore, I was lucky that they had the resources to get me the extra help that I needed when I needed it – and resources such that they were able to keep me from having to work during school, so I could concentrate on my studies and not be overburdened with crippling workloads and debts.

    In short, Joe, I was very lucky to be born into a situation which made it as easy as possible for me to ‘succeed.’ I have had an easy life, and neither smarts nor a hard work ethic have gotten me to where I am. Indeed, without those extensive supports, I can very easily imagine a life where I would right now be spinning my wheels in a dead-end, low wage job, and struggling to pay my rent and put food on the table each month. I’ve teetered on the edge of that path at least a couple times in my life, but each time someone was there to help. Sometimes, that help came from the government.

    Most people are not nearly so fortunate. Many parents have little knowledge of how to help their children succeed, and they do not have stable, well-off families to draw on. Indeed, the working poor (and, in this economy, the unemployed poor) are busy just trying to survive. They need every support we can give them – though I do agree that we should constantly reevaluate those efforts. However, the purpose of such reevaluation should not be to figure out how to eliminate our help to the needy, but rather to figure out how best to help them most effectively.

    I note that you, too, have received support from the government. You (correctly) note that one of the reasons that you were unemployed was that “there were no jobs” where you were living. That does not make you lazy, does it? Do you believe that you would’ve done just as well in your life if the government hadn’t been there to help you in your hour of need? Do you now want to deny similar support to others in their hour of need? I don’t get it.

    Now, I do see one point of agreement: I do agree that the government should also work hard to help stimulate economic activity.

    June 2, 2010
  178. Joe Dokken said:

    People who receive unemployment, should have to pay into unemployment.
    I never said people should be denied to rightfully use unemployment.
    Therefore it is more of an entitlement/benefit. (Not sure what the proper term would be…)
    Also,you are asking me to respond to things I never stated.
    There is a big difference between using unemployment when there are no jobs available and when jobs are available.
    The problem we face today is not because so many people at this time need unemployment…. It started 10 years or more ago when people lived off unemployment and should have gone to work. It still happens today but not as much.
    I wanted to comment on your thoughts about the price of the Roder home…
    Greed played into our housing crisis. Outrageous pricing on homes, even in Northfield, led to the housing implosion. You are correct Al Roder may have purchased with too much optimism in an upward moving market. I wonder how many homeowners in Northfield are making payments on a home which three years ago would have shown a positive equity margin. Not anymore!
    Many are upside down in their Middle Class home. Al Roder bought a Middle Class home in Northfield.
    Don’t forget many people place a second mortgage on their home…and I think this situation falls into that model.

    June 2, 2010
  179. Ray Cox said:

    Like Victor, I rarely find myself in agreement with Patrick, but I do agree with several things he says, the number one being that life is very difficult for many people during these tough economic times. I truly hope that all elected officals understand that—really, really understand it. To the point that they will work to actually help the poor and underserved to lift themselves up. Handouts on a permanent basis do not work. That has been proven over and over again but we still have lots of people that think permanent handouts do work.

    The other day I called one of my employees back to work that had been furloughed for a bit. As we were driving to a job I commented to him that letting people go is one of the toughest things I do as an employer and that I hoped things were OK for him and his family. He sat quietly for a minute then responded “We are doing fine. But what I think is wrecking this country is the constant extension of unemployment benefits. If they would quit doing that people would be forced to take jobs,maybe at a significantly reduced wage rate, but they would have to get jobs or start a business. By extending unemployment benefits we are just prolonging the situation.” I thought that was very observant coming from someone that had been unemployed for several weeks this winter.

    Joe’s point about people paying less taxes during tough economic times is spot on. But what do we do when our legislators refuse to acknowledge that is happening and think we can run along with business as ususal supporting the status quo? Minnesota’s revenue stream may continue to decline for several more years as the baby boomers retire and pay lower income taxes, sales taxes, etc. Can Minnesota adjust its spending to match the new revenue stream?

    June 2, 2010
  180. john george said:

    Joe, Patrick, et. al- I think it is difficult to come up with a general statement that would describe every case of unemployment. Each case is unique to the people involved. Back in the ’82 recession, I was laid off from work 2 weeks before my youngest daughter was born. It was down right devestating to my wife. I was able to stretch the unemployment benefits to about 9 months, because they are meeted out proportionally to whatever other income a person has (or at least they were 28 years ago.) I took every part time job I could find. Our small church had just initiated a building project for a new building, and I was able to do some common labor for the building contractor. I also volunteered a lot of extra time on the building. I remember hand trowelling the 40 X 40 foot concrete sanctuary floor until 2:30 am. The other benefit we had was a very supportive church body. We were small, only about 60 members, but we really cared for one another, and I was the beneficiary of some of that care. I even worked at the Hy-Vee bakery decorating cakes. Our children remember that time with great fondness, because we actually lived better than when I was fully employed. They also saw the Hand of God moving in all the things that happened during that time, from the $350.00 total bill for the birth of our youngest daughter (the doctor missed the delivery, so he only charged us to sign the birth certificate), to Karen’s and my daily prayers for His provision. Some people look at difficult times like these as being a threat, but for my family, it was a great growing time in our faith. None of us has much control over what befalls us in life. We only have control over our reaction to it.

    June 2, 2010
  181. kiffi summa said:

    This discussion, although an interesting one on social values, and gov’t involvement in the lives of ordinary people, and even involving the notion of “the common good” is far afield from the core issue as it specifically relates to NF.

    There are facts about Mr. Roder’s house purchase, and his city help with doing that, (moving bonus, cost of housing differentiation bonus) and then there are personal aspects that are no one’s business except his…i.e. refinancing of mortgages, etc. EXCEPT then because he is an employee of the city, there become peripheral interests that may influence people’s opinions about what should be his personal life/finances.

    The real interest in this article should have nothing to do with his bankruptcy… the real interest is buried down in the attached comments, by the person who said it would have been nice to know of his (Roder’s) money management skills BEFORE we passed the capital improvements…(that’s kind of paraphrased, you can find the actual comment and read it for yourself)

    So… this shows a pattern… huge capital improvement projects in Dennison IA, acted on; huge capital improvement plans in Northfield but not acted on much before he left, and now capital improvement projects in Norfolk…
    Is this how a city administrator builds a resume?
    Is this HOW a city administrator should build his resume?

    So far, Northfield seems to only be doggedly following the plans Mr. Roder set in motion; all of the Hay-Dobbs Space Needs Analysis studies were begun in his time, I believe.

    I’m really not interested in Mr. Roder’s personal housing finances; I really am interested in how involved NF taxpayers still are in Mr. Roder’s legal bills finances… AND a clear definitive answer as to how long we will have to shoulder that responsibility?

    June 2, 2010
  182. kiffi summa said:

    Joe: There is simply no way that a $412,000 home is a “middle class home”in Northfield… The Council is using a $230,000 residence for their mid range in their tax calculations for tax impacts on levy setting, and capital improvement projects…

    If I am wrong, please correct with fact, not opinion.

    June 2, 2010
  183. William Siemers said:


    I had 14 W2 forms in 1974…And got some unemployment benefits the same year. I got a job, got laid off; got a job, got fired; got a job, quit to make 50 cents more an hour, etc. etc. New baby, broken down car, utilities shut off…once had to get 25 bucks and food stamps from the general relief office to tide us over until the paycheck came in.

    I needed that unemployment and the relief check, and there should always be this kind of ‘bridge’ assistance. But I kept hustling because I knew the help was very temporary, and because it really didn’t provide enough for a decent standard of living. Joe’s point, and I’m inclined to agree, is that the sum total of ‘help’ given today does provide for a decent standard of living, and it has become permanent. That is not good for able-bodied individuals or society. I am not talking about programs that benefit the disabled, the elderly, and children…but about programs benefiting people perfectly able to work.

    This might sound like I would support reductions in government spending to benefit the unemployed, but I don’t think that is the case. Provide the temporary bridge assistance. After that, if people are still unemployed, spend the money on programs like the WPA and the CCC. Programs that put people to work on meaningful projects that pay at least 50% more than the temporary benefit. If a person wants a check, they have to show up and work. If they don’t want to work, their benefits end.

    June 3, 2010
  184. john george said:

    William- I agree with your statement, here. I think the reality we are seeing in our society is that, metaphoriclly, the “bridge” doesn’t reach all the way across the river.

    June 6, 2010
  185. I agree with William. I had relatives who have since passed away,and who have worded at the CCC camps and it didn’t hurt them at all…in fact it made them very strong physically and mentally…and the CCC did fantastic work for this country that still holds up to this very day.

    June 7, 2010
  186. Griff Wigley said:

    The saga continues with Al Roder and Lee Lansing:

    Nfld News: Ex administrator’s attorney bills Northfield $13,000

    Nearly four years after Al Roder left Northfield saying ongoing tensions between himself and then-Mayor Lee Lansing made it impossible to continue as city administrator, the council will consider paying Roder’s attorney nearly $13,000.

    The bill, from David Lillehaug, one of the state’s top attorneys, covers nearly a year, a period in which Lillehaug represented Roder in a case against former Mayor Lee Lansing and reviewed hundreds of legal documents requested by the defense. Including the most recent invoice, Northfielders have paid more than $33,000 for the one time administrator’s attorney.

    June 5, 2012
  187. kiffi summa said:

    This thread began, almost three years ago,with the announcement of a new show on KYMN, “the Law Review” with attny. David Hvistendahl and various other attorneys in his office.
    Interesting then, that tonight’s show, reviewed this new bill from Mr. Roder’s attorney, and the severance agreement with Mr. Roder, in general.

    Attorney Mary Hahn found ample reason for the City Council to consider the renegotiation of that agreement, since some of the parameters surrounding the agreement have changed.

    I’ll not try to summarize their discussion, as to the pertinent legal points; maybe Ms. Hahn will chime in here, or you can listen to the program in the KYMN archives.

    I will however comment that the NFNews article, In My Opinon , writes from the less than UN-biased position that one would expect from a truly investigative journalism POV.

    June 5, 2012

Leave a Reply