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Walter Carlson caught accessing records for personal use, put on home leave

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Walter Carlson used public records for personal reasons in violation of state privacy laws, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Hennepin County Attorney's office yesterday.

The Department of Public Safety received a complaint about  Carlson, a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police Department, using the Driver and Vehicle Services database for non-work purposes. An audit determined that he has been "repeatedly' accessing records for reasons "unrelated to any official business or work-related assignment" since 2003.

Carlson is charged with one count of misconduct of a public employee, which carries a of up to one year in prison and a $3000 fine.

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The St. Paul City attorney's office will handle the charge against Carlson, which is a gross misdemeanor.

City Pages put in a call to the St. Paul city attorney's office requesting comment but did not hear back as of press time. Minneapolis police sergeant Steve McCarty tells City Pages Carlson has been put on home assignment.

"His employment status will remain pending until the results of his criminal investigation," McCarty said.