Thursday, May 10, 2007

Heffelfinger, Paulose Minnesota U.S. Attorney Timeline

Heffelfinger, Paulose Minnesota U.S. Attorney Timeline

(With special attention to Minneapolis public corruption investigations)

September 1991: April 1993: Thomas B. Heffelfinger's first term as United States Attorney, District of Minnesota (appointed by President George H. W. Bush).

July 17, 2001: Minneapolis city council members Brian Herron indicted (taped by FBI accepting $10,000 bribe). Herron pleaded guilty and resigned.

September 2001: Tom Heffelfinger appointed by President George W. Bush to a second term as US Attorney for the District of Minnesota.

Nov. 7, 2001: R.T. Rybak and Zimmermann elected. Rybak campaigned with a gigantic green air freshener stating how city hall needed to have its air freshened with reform and a return to ethical standards of practice by its elected officials.

November 21, 2002: Councilman Joe Biernat convicted of five felony charges related to allegations he received free plumbing work in exchange for a vote.

September 9, 2004: Mayor RT Rybak casts his only veto in favor a Basim Sabri's development. Zimmermann also supports Basim Sabri's project.

December 2005: Basim Sabri convicted of three counts of bribery for trying to pay former City Council Member Brian Herron to help him with a controversial project on Lake Street.

May 18, 2005: FBI agents meet with a cooperating witness (Gary Carlson) about Zimmermann.

May ? 2005: In an FBI tape, Carlson mentioned he had recently had a fundraiser for Norm Coleman at his house; Zimmermann chided Carlson for not inviting him. Carlson replied by saying he didn't think Zimmermann [as a Green] would want to attend a Republican fundraiser.

Zimmermann responded by saying, "Liberals, Greens, Democrats, Republicans…it's all money."

August 31, 2005: Zimmermann meets with Carlson at his home. Zimmermann receives an envelope that contains $1000 in the form of 10 $100 bills, given to Carlson by the FBI. Zimmermann asks Carlson to contribute money to another Green candidate, Dave Bicking. Zimmermann also boasts of having forced a primary with a "straw man".

September 9, 2005: FBI agents confront Zimmermann with video and audio evidence of bribery. Zimmemrmnann lies and refuses to admit wrongdoing. Zimmermann's house searched. Investigation announced.

September 11, 2005: Fifth Congressional District Green Party chair Steven Eisenmenger) claims USA Tom Heffelfinger canceled press conference:

Eisenmenger said two members of the Zimmermann campaign were subpoenaed to testify Monday before a Hennepin County grand jury, but were told Friday their appearances had been cancelled. He also questioned why U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger cancelled a Friday press conference where he was to release a statement on the case.

Jan. 9, 2006: Kyle Sampson memo to White House Counsel Harriet Miers: proposed working with "targeted U.S. Attorneys to encourage them to leave government service voluntarily; this would allow (them) to make arrangements for work in the private sector and `save face' regarding the reason for leaving office, both in the Department of Justice and in their local legal communities." (Nick Coleman, Star Tribune 4/1/07)

January 18, 2006: Former city councilman Dean Zimmermann indicted.

Feb. 14, 2006: Tom Heffelfinger, announced his resignation (effective Feb. 28, 2006).

Feb. 17, 2006: Paulose was named to be the interim US Attorney.

April 14th, 2006 memo from Kyle Sampson states, "Also, I would note that two on my original list have already resigned" (presumably Heffelfinger and Graves).

August 10, 2006: Zimmermann convicted on 3 counts of accepting cash.

November 7, 2006: DFL candidate for Rebecca Otto claims she was the victim of Green Party dirty tricks in this You Tube video.

December 9, 2006: Rachel Paulose confirmed by unanimous consent in the Senate's last act of the session at 3:00 a.m (Saturday morning)

December 19, 2006: Former Minneapolis Councilman Zimmermann Sentenced to Federal Prison.

March 9, 2007: Rachel Paulose Sworn in as US Attorney fo the District of MInnesota at ceremony at Saint Thomas. - Thomas Heffelfinger, was not invited (Nick Coleman, Star Tribune 4/1/07)

March 21, 2007: City Pages article on flawed research that claimed Mayor Rybak was investigated by Heffelfinger--Heffelfinger says, he cannot comment on investigations that did not result in charges. But it doesn't take a scholar to read between the lines: "Rybak should be pissed off," Heffelfinger says. "That's irresponsible for someone to publish something like that."

April 5, 2007: "...three of her top administrators — First Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marti, second in command; civil division head Erika Monzangue and criminal division head James Lackner — voluntarily resigned those positions, reverting to simple assistant U.S. attorney status, reportedly in protest over Paulose's management style. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, she was noted for dressing down underlings and quoting Bible verses on the job.

April 7, 2007: Pioneer Press reporter, Ruben Rosario complains that Rachel Paulose doesn't release information... even about "Cubby the Bear" to the press.

On April 17th: The AP reported that Ms. Paulose had been contacted for voluntary questioning by the US House Judiciary Committee in relation to the "firings of 8 U.S. federal prosecutors"

****Zimmermann Trial Facts****

*Gary Dean Zimmermann had a court-appointed attorney.

*Gary Dean Zimmermann still owns property worth $794,500 (according to City records).

*A Star Tribune editorial recommended that Zimmermann receive no jail time.

****More Reference****

TPM US Attorney Scandal Timeline:

KSTP Coverage of the US Attorney scandal.

FBI Search Affidavit (PDF).

Best & Flannagan Heffelfinger resume.

Zimmermann's sorry environmental record in office.

MnBlue Blog's timeline.

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