During last night’s Vikings game, Kurt Bills ran an ad claiming Amy Klobuchar covered up for Tom Petters and failed to prosecute him while she was Hennepin County Attorney.

That ad is being labeled as false today by both Doug Kelley, the Trustee in the Petters bankruptcy case, and by a partner in the law firm that represented Petters whistleblower Deanna Coleman.

Kelley, a Republican who ran for Minnesota governor, calls the claims in the ad “preposterous.” Kelley said Klobuchar handled the return of all Petters campaign contributions “honorably.”

“She did just what Tim Pawlenty and Norm Coleman did – she gave the donation money to charity,” Kelley said.

Federal law allows for politicians to do just that, Kelley added. Kelley also said he later approached Klobuchar and other politicians to give the money to the fund the Bankruptcy court had created to help victims.

Kelley said Klobuchar gave the money back a second time “without a fight.”

Bills’ ad is also being denounced by attorney Joe Tamburino, a partner in the law firm of Caplan and Tamburino who represented Deanna Coleman.

“The ad is completely unfair and inaccurate. Nobody in law enforcement knew anything about the conspiracy until September of 2008 until Deanna came forward to Federal authorities,” Tamburino said. “Tom Petters was on nobody’s radar until then.”

Klobuchar served as county attorney from 1999 until she was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.

Mike Osskopp, Kurt Bills’ campaign manager, said Friday that the Bills ad is based on a story that ran in The Daily Caller, a conservative website.

“I don’t know if that story is true or if it’s not true. Until someone proves that it’s not true we will continue to run it,” Osskopp said.

Esme Murphy

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