Tim Scannell terminated as Cook County attorney

By KBJR News 1

July 31, 2014 Updated Jul 31, 2014 at 6:35 PM CDT

Grand Marais, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- It was a decision not taken lightly...

"We decided to terminate him in his capacity as County Attorney," said Bruce Martinson, Vice Chair of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Six days after Tim Scannell was found guilty of two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to remove him as Cook County Attorney.

"The public has been demanding this action for over a year. We've been a very patient board and we thought it was our responsibility to act in an expedient manner," said Martinson.

The County Board, with the guidance of legal counsel, acted on a Minnesota Statute that states an office becomes vacant upon "conviction of an infamous crime, or any offense involving a violation of the official oath."

"We took the action that is the balance between the understanding of state statute and the position of the community to want to see this end," said Garry Gamble, Cook County Commissioner.

Scannell's termination was post-dated to July 25, the date of his conviction. Scannell has been on medical leave since October of 20-13 when he was indicted on the sex offenses. Assistant Cook County Attorney Molly Hicken, was appointed interim county attorney.

"Our response is not one to see that a person gets their just dessert, it is to make a statement to the rest of society and to other practicing peoples, and other elected officials, this behavior is not acceptable," said Gamble.

Scannell's term was set to expire at the end of this year. He was not seeking reelection. Hicken is currently running unopposed for Cook County Attorney.

Scannell is set to be sentenced on September 26.

Because he has no criminal record and, due to Minnesota sentencing guidelines, his attorney says he is likely facing a period of probation for punishment.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati