Former county attorney accused of unprofessional conduct
July 10, 2020
Former Carlton County attorney Thom Pertler is facing possible disciplinary action regarding unprofessional conduct during his tenure with the county.
Susan Humiston, the director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, filed the petition for disciplinary action on July 6 with the Minnesota Supreme Court. The complaint centers around Pertler’s failure to follow through with his duties to disclose all exculpatory evidence (favorable to defendants), specifically by not disclosing misconduct by then Cloquet police officer Scott Beckman that reflected on Beckman's credibility and honesty. According to the complaint, Pertler knew about Beckman’s misconduct but never revealed that knowledge to any defense attorneys or even prosecuting attorneys in his own office.
The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility is an agency of the state judicial branch which investigates ethics complaints against lawyers and, if warranted, will pursue disciplinary action.
Pertler was appointed as Carlton County attorney in January 2005, and subsequently elected to serve four-year terms until he was defeated by current county attorney Lauri Ketola in the 2018 general election.
Read the whole story in the upcoming issue of the Pine Knot News.