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

AL RODER

• $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.

198 Comments

  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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  2. 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
    Reply
  3. 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
    Reply
  4. 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
    Reply
  5. 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
    Reply
  6. 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
    Reply
  7. 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
    Reply
  8. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  9. 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
    Reply
  10. 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
    Reply
    • Patrick Enders said:

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

      June 26, 2009
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  11. Joe Dokken said:

    Gary,

    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
    Reply
  12. 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
    Reply
  13. 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
    Reply
  14. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  15. 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
    Reply
  16. 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
    Reply
  17. 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
    Reply
  18. 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:

    http://www.northfieldnews.com/photos/File678.pdf

    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.”

    http://northfieldnews.com/news.php?viewStory=25313

    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”

    https://locallygrownnorthfield.org/post/4839/comment-page-1/#comments

    June 27, 2009
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  19. 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
    Reply
  20. 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
    Reply
    • Mike Lewis said:

      see post 22

      June 27, 2009
      Reply
  21. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  22. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  23. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  24. 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
    Reply
  25. 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
    Reply
    • Scott Oney said:

      Jane:

      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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • Scott Oney said:

      Jane:

      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
      Reply
  26. 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
    Reply
    • Scott Oney said:

      Kiffi:

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

      June 28, 2009
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  27. 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
    Reply
  28. 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.

    https://locallygrownnorthfield.org/post/1932/

    June 28, 2009
    Reply
  29. Patrick Enders said:

    Curt,
    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
    Reply
  30. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  31. 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
    Reply
  32. 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
    Reply
  33. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  34. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  35. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  36. 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
    Reply
  37. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  38. 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:

    http://www.ci.northfield.mn.us/assets/0/062907.pdf

    June 30, 2009
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  39. 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?

    victor

    June 30, 2009
    Reply
  40. David Ludescher said:

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

    June 30, 2009
    Reply
    • kiffi summa said:

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

      July 1, 2009
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • john george said:

      Kiffi- Did you see my post 35?

      July 1, 2009
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • David Ludescher said:

      Kiffi: Is there anything worth talking about?

      July 3, 2009
      Reply
    • kiffi summa said:

      ? Quien sabe ?

      July 3, 2009
      Reply
  41. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  42. 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
    Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  43. 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
    Reply
  44. 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.

    http://kymnradio.net/archives/1185

    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
    Reply
    • David Ludescher said:

      Patrick: What was the conclusion?

      July 4, 2009
      Reply
    • 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
      Reply
  45. 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
    Reply
    • Curt Benson said:

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

      July 26, 2009
      Reply

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