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Archive for December 5th, 2011

Dead Officer’s Legacy: Exposing Some Of Bob Fletcher’s Secrets

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 5, 2011

Jessica Lussenhop is a very clever person.

In the first of a promised series of reports, she discusses “the Suicide Files” — the material entrusted to her by Ramsey County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Ruettimann, a political foe of former Sheriff Bob Fletcher, before he was found dead, a presumed suicide, in October. She details Ruettimann’s suspicions, and some of the evidence he provided for them, that Fletcher was using Ruettimann’s fraught relations with his former wife as a pretext for killing his career and destroying his reputation.

Lussenhop allows the pro-Fletcher contingent plenty of time to take over the comments thread of that article, letting them wax all superior and moralistic about Ruettimann’s stormy relationship with his ex-wife and about other things as well.

Then she lowers the boom:

The 911 call came in at about 10 p.m. on July 9, 1999. The woman on the line was crying and so distraught she couldn’t manage to tell the dispatcher what she needed.

“Begging me not to send anyone or she will be in big trouble,” the baffled 911 operator wrote in the call log. “I asked who she was fighting with, she stated her husband.”

Then the woman abruptly hung up.

Around the same time, another call came into the St. Paul station from a woman identifying herself as Sheriff Fletcher’s wife. She asked the officer on duty to give her then-Chief Bill Finney’s home telephone number. The officer said she couldn’t do that, and the woman began to cry. She gave her own number, asked the officer to pass it to Finney, and to tell him it was an emergency. In his own report about the incident, Finney states that he attempted to call her twice, but got no answer.

St. Paul Police officers were given the woman’s address. On their way to the house, one officer wrote in his report that he “heard a transmission from a squad identified as 2400 asking the original car to switch to channel 3 for some information. I recognized the voice as Sheriff R. Fletcher.”

When officers switched over to channel 3, Fletcher explained they were heading to his home. He’d heard the 911 dispatch on his own radio and told the St. Paul officers that nothing was wrong. He said he would meet them there and explain the situation.

Fletcher’s explanation of the situation was to paint his wife as a hopeless drunk, a characterization happily seized upon by his defenders in the comments threads. But hopeless drunks don’t try to call police chiefs at home in order to bypass the 911 surveillance being done by the person who they want to report was hurting them.

I hope Ms. Lussenhop has several good guard dogs and has made several copies of the material Ruettimann bequeathed her.

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