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Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Justice Department's Remarks on Zimmermann's Conviction

From the U.S. Department of Justice web site:

United States Attorney Rachel K. Paulose:

"Public corruption will not be tolerated in this state. Minnesotans have the right to expect that elected officials will work for the public good and not for what they might gain personally through back-room deals. The U.S. Attorney's Office will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute individuals who violate the public trust."

Michael Tabman, Special Agent in Charge of the Minneapolis office of the FBI:

"Public corruption is the FBI's top criminal investigative priority. FBI agents, working in concert with the United States Attorney's Office, methodically, cautiously, and quietly conduct these very sensitive investigations. Many of our investigations start with a tip from someone who encounters corruption. There is a growing intolerance by the American people of public corruption, an intolerance reflected in the willingness to come forward and report abuse of public office. We are always grateful for those who do."

Today's letters to the Strib express approval of the government crackdown on official corruption:

Ignorance no defense

According to columnist Doug Grow, former City Council Member Dean Zimmerman should have used a different defense ("Zimmermann nonchalant, even after conviction," Aug. 11).

"Your Honor, I'm just a good-hearted simpleton from North Dakota. I didn't know any better. Please let me go with my bribe money, I won't do it again. Thank you, now let me go tell my wife and friends not to worry."


Just say no

I can't honestly believe that Dean Zimmermann thought there was nothing crooked about taking $5,000 in cash from a developer. Maybe city politicians are accustomed to having their palms greased?

Here's a tip: Any time you receive $5,000 cash in crisp clean bills, you're probably being asked to do something unlawful.


Greens should be red

I am completely embarrassed for the Green Party and everything it stands for after the conviction of former Minneapolis Council Member Dean Zimmermann.

His supporters were equally embarrassing, blindly following their hearts rather than their heads.

The Greens in particular eschew corruption, and to have one of their own convicted of bribery is a stain on the party.