Updated: 10/31/2013 10:40 PM
Created: 10/30/2013 11:10 AM WDIO.com
Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell has been charged with two counts fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The decision to charge Scannell was made by a grand jury from St. Louis County and was announced Thursday by Thomas Heffelfinger, a former U.S. Attorney who was appointed to review the case.
Last December, a 17-year-old girl's family asked for and was granted a restraining order against him. The order says that Scannell confessed he was in love with the girl in September 2012.
According to court documents related to the restrainting order, Scannell had an inappropriate relationship with the teenager, who he's known since she was a child.
Scannell is now on medical leave, which county officials said he requested about two weeks ago. He appeared in court Thursday and has not entered a plea.
In a written statement released Thursday, Scannell's attorney, Richard W. Swanson, said Scannell knows that he acted inappropriately but says he did not act criminally.
Scannell was shot in his office by a man who had just been convicted in December 2011. Thursday's statement said Scannell and his family have been under extreme stress since the shooting, and said the alleged events in this case "occurred while he was suffering in the darkest hours of his severe depression."
A group of citizens has been protesting over Scannell's continued position as county attorney each Friday for months, and has said they will until Scannell leaves office. He's up for re-election next fall.
The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility said Thursday they are aware of the charges. They will be initiating an investigation file and will monitor the matter.
US and Partners Begin Airstrikes in Syria
The aerial effort against the extremist group Islamic State has been expanded from Iraq into Syria. The Pentagon says the operation involves warplanes from the U.S. and its partners.
Ebola Worker with Northland Ties Killed in Guinea
A pastor and clinic administrator with ties in Duluth was killed in Guinea last week. Moses Mamy was part of an Ebola awareness team traveling from village to village. When they reached Womey last Tuesday, residents attacked and killed Mamy and seven others. Mamy's friends say he will be remembered for "his generous heart."
Saint Louis County Board Forum Gets Heated
There were some tense moments during a candidate forum for the Saint Louis County Board Monday. Two sets of candidates answered some tough questions during the forum set up by the Duluth News Tribune. In District One, Jim Booth is challenging incumbent Frank Jewell. Former state legislator Tom Rukavina and Christina Hujanen are fighting for the District Four seat.
Duluth City Council Approves Maximum Tax Levy Increase
Duluth City councilors voted 5-4 to approve a maximum tax levy increase for 2015, but not without making some changes first.
City Councilor Joins Growing Field Vying for Superior Mayor
City Councilor Mike Herrick made the official announcement on Monday night. He says his campaign will focus on continuing to grow the city, keeping young people in the city, and making Superior more business-friendly.