Herald JournalHerald Journal, March 31, 2003

Borrell grand jury hearing in progress

By Julie Yurek

A grand jury assembled Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon in Buffalo to hear testimony from witnesses to determine if there is enough evidence to bring Rep. Dick Borrell to trial for unfair campaign practices.

No decision was made as of press time.

"Grand jury proceedings are secret," said Meeker County Attorney Michael Thompson, who is the prosecutor in the hearing.

He could not comment on the case because the law does not allow him to until a decision is made, he said.

Brian Asleson of the Wright County Attorney's Office indicated that a public announcement would probably come within one week.

"The hearing is sealed until a decision is made to indict or not," he said. "A grand jury hearing is a fact-finding process."

If Borrell is brought to trial and found guilty of unfair campaign practices, it could result in his removal from office of state representative District 19B, to be determined by a judge.

Borrell won a tight three-way race among DFLer Lori Schmidt, and Republican write-in rival Darren Knight in November 2002.

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