TOWER— The city council here voted unanimously on Monday to place Tower City Clerk-Treasurer Linda Keith on paid administrative suspension pending the outcome of an investigation into a laundry list of allegations against her. The council also authorized itself to investigate those allegations, which the council will undertake with guidance from the League of Minnesota Cities.
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, meanwhile, is conducting its own investigation into a criminal complaint against Keith and former Mayor Josh Carlson and former Acting Mayor Kevin Fitton stemming from allegations that they were involved in illegally removing Marshall Helmberger from his position as chair of the Tower Economic Development Authority in January of 2018 in retaliation for critical reporting on actions of the city.
Investigators from the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant in that case last Tuesday in order to obtain emails between those three individuals for the period of Nov. 1, 2017—Jan. 31, 2018. A copy of the search warrant was made available to council members and the media during Monday’s council meeting.
The council also authorized Mayor Orlyn Kringstad to contact former clerk-treasurer Ann Lamppa about possibly replacing Keith on an interim basis.
Much more on this story will appear in the June 21 print edition of the Timberjay. Updates will be posted at timberjay.com as they develop.