Watch Tom Lyden's Fox9 report on Deputy Dan Ruettimann [VIDEO]
In this week's cover story on the suicide of Ramsey County Deputy Dan Ruettimann, we mentioned a story on Fox9 that impacted the deputy in the months leading up to his death this past October.
The story said that Deputy Ruettimann was under an Internal Affairs investigation for conduct unbecoming an officer. Reporter Tom Lyden questioned whether Ruettimann was "given a second chance" for political reasons.
While the police reports used in the piece are public record, the fact that they were tied to Internal Affairs business should have remained confidential.
Ruettimann was accused of threatening to kill his ex-wife's father in 2010, as well as strangling his ex-wife in 2006. These were incidents cited in his Internal Affairs investigation, which was opened in June 2010. No charges were ever filed in either incident, but under former sheriff Bob Fletcher they were used as justification for Ruettimann's demotion.
However, according to data practices law, no details should have been made public about the contents of Ruettimann's investigation until it was closed. It remains open to this day.
"The fact that there were charges pending against Mr. Ruettimann is public," said Law Enforcement Legal Services general counsel Isaac Kaufman during the reporting for this week's cover. "None of the rest of the investigation should be public."
Nevertheless, the Fox9 story points out that Internal Affairs found Ruettimann guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer because of the accusations. Fox reporter Tom Lyden said via Twitter last night that former sheriff Bob Fletcher did not feed him the story, and that there was no "leak" of information in his reportage.
"People talk ya' know," he tweeted. "Is anyone questioning news of a cop who allegedly asslts wife?"
We asked Lyden to comment via email, and he responded:
Usually reluctant to talk about sources for any stories that I don't refer to directly.
But will say Fletcher, beyond his statement, was not the source for this story.
And, more importantly, no documents or reports were "leaked." All documents came through Data Practices requests.
Watch the original story here:
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