MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A former Chisago County Sheriff has pleaded guilty to harassment and misconduct of a public officer after he was accused of sexually harassed a female employee.
Rick Duncan retired in April 2018, citing health reasons. The county began investigating claims after a female employee came forward with the allegations against Duncan.
Duncan was charged later that year for acts that investigators say happened in October and November 2017.
Documents obtained by WCCO-TV show Duncan allegedly told a female employee that fall that he received a series of blackmail letters from an anonymous third party, who had the alias “Control Freak.”
The letters required him and a female employee to both go to a training together in Bemidji, as well as stay overnight in a hotel together, among other things. One of the letters said that something may happen to the both of their families if the instructions were not followed.
Duncan allegedly implied the letter writer would possibly want him and the employee to have sex, and that the letter writer was crazy enough to follow through on threats to their families.
The female employee later met with the sheriff and told him she would not follow the instructions, and that she would take her chances. Duncan allegedly said he would try to draw the letter writer out.
“We are grateful that we could resolve the case in this manner, a resolution which was supported by the victim, in an effort to allow her to obtain closure after nearly three years,” Anoka County Attorney’s Office criminal division chief Wade Kish said. “This case is an unfortunate example of an elected official abusing his position of power. We are committed to holding public officials accountable for their behavior to ensure credibility of the justice system.”
The county attorney’s office says Duncan faces two years imprisonment.