Bob Fletcher, the sheriff of Ramsey County in St. Paul, Mn., is threatening to sue someone who made an accusation against him at a candidates’ forum last month. The Minneapolis Star Tribune says a statement from an anonymous questioner suggested that he had a personal relationship with St. Paul City Council candidate Kris Reiter. “This was beyond slimy,” said Fletcher, who has hired an attorney to sue the as-yet-unknown writer. “There was an attempt to victimize an innocent person [Reiter] who just lost her father. What are the consequences of not doing anything?”
Fletcher supporters saw his actions as a sign of his willingness to jump to the defense of a friend and to his own defense regardless of the cost. Critics saw it as an indication of his readiness to go after what he wants aggressively, letting the chips fall where they may.
Fletcher has helped his department grow from 319 employees with a $20.2 million budget in 1994 to 409 employees and a $35.9 projected million budget for next year. He has started youth crime prevention programs, taken the lead on preparedness training for weapons of mass destruction, upgraded technology and led a successful drive to build a $61 million law enforcement center and jail.