Wabasha Co. Commissioner to File Suit Against Own County

Updated: 01/20/2014 9:22 PM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart

A Wabasha County Commissioner plans to file suit to halt what some call an "illegal program."

Commissioner Deb Roschen says she and other citizens want the sheriff to shut down the safe driving program that has been in place over the past 10 years.

The course, which is offered to drivers cited for minor traffic offenses, provides a cheaper alternative to paying a traffic fine. It also allows the county to keep all of the money it collects rather than giving the state a cut as it would in the event a fine is paid.

The state auditor says programs like this one violate state law.

At a Wabasha County commission meeting, commissioners did not act on a resolution calling on the sheriff to end the program.

Afterward, Roschen announced the lawsuit would be filed by an attorney who was recently retained by the county. Details of the lawsuit will be released Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Rep. Debra Hilstrom, (DFL) Brooklyn Center, is also proposing a fix for the next legislative session. She plans to introduce two bills aimed at settling the controversy once and for all.