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Paynesville Press - Oct. 27, 2010

Kandiyohi County Attorney
Boyd Beccue

Boyd Beccue, 62, has served as the Kandiyohi County attorney for 20 years (since 1991). He also served as an assistant county attorney from 1979-1983.

Why are you running for county attorney? The office faces challenges today due to the state and local budget crisis and the conversion to digital or paperless charging and management of criminal cases. At the same time, we are facing an increase in violent crime, typified by the recent attempted murder of a Willmar police officer. Only broad experience and solid judgment will enable the county attorney's office to navigate these difficult times. We also face increased challenges in areas of civil practice, including our agricultural drainage system. We have begun the process of re-determination of benefits on all county ditches, totaling over 600 miles. We also face the danger of a federal takeover of all water-related matters due to Rep. Oberstar's bill in the U.S. House (HR 5088). Only experience can guide the county through these issues, and I am the only candidate with any drainage law experience.

What accomplishments would you cite for your re-election as commissioner? I believe my military experience, including three years with the 3rd Infantry Division, has given me a solid base of leadership and teamwork. After I left the army I attended the University of Minnesota Law School and was a cum laude graduate in 1979. As a former president of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, I have statewide credibility on matters of criminal law. I was a member of the committee, headed by Sen. Amy Klobuchar when she was Hennepin County attorney, which guided the felony DUI law through the legislature, greatly reducing the death toll on our highways. I have successfully prosecuted 60 welfare fraud cases during the most recent five-year period and have obtained restitution orders from the court directing recovery of over $528,000 for the taxpayers. I managed the transition from a part-time office to a full-time county attorney office when our county board requested the change in 2002. The transition was seamless and has resulted in cost savings for the taxpayers. I have taken the office into the forefront of digital case management. In 1991 our office computers were not networked, and our file system was entirely paper based. Today we are one of the pilot counties for digital eCharging of criminal cases and do much of our business, both up to the courts and with our agency partners and law enforcement in an integrated, computer-based paperless system.

How are you better qualified for this position than your opponent? I have over 30 years of prosecution and government service experience as a city and county attorney. In recent years I have lectured at training for other attorneys in areas as diverse as animal law and mental illness commitment. In 2003 and 2007 I was a lecturer at the training provided by the MCAA for newly elected county attorneys. My service on the MCAA Board of Directors and several committees has allowed me to stay abreast of the latest developments in the law and government management, often in the formative stages. I am a former chair of the MCAA Criminal Law Committee which drafts criminal legislation and reviews legislative matters at the request of individual legislators and House or Senate committees. I have served as county attorney longer than any of our county board members and county administrator have served and can provide guidance on past practices and experience.

What is your vision for Kandiyohi County? I see Kandiyohi County continuing as a county which leads in matters of good, responsible local government. Our record in areas such as data practices and open meeting law is excellent. Accountability to the voters is a high priority for every part of county government, and the role of the county attorney in these areas is key. I am available for consultation with the board or our department heads at all times. My broad experience allows me to quickly provide solid legal advice. There is no substitute for experience. We live in a small county where most of our citizens know someone in local government or law enforcement. I encourage voters to ask them whether I have provided solid leadership and legal guidance to the county. I stand on my record, and I am confident of the answer.

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