Sheriff, attorney criticize Swift County retention policies

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By Reed Anfinson
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County has lost Assistant County Attorney Allison Whalen to neighboring Stevens County. It is a loss that will have a deep impact on the office’s ability to prosecute cases as well as provide services to victims.

Both Swift County Sheriff John Holtz and County Attorney Danielle Olson roundly criticized the county board of commissioners and Administrator Kelsey Baker for their lack of effort to retain Whalen at the board’s meeting Tuesday, April 2.

It could get worse for the county with both Olson and her remaining assistant having sent out job applications for open positions in area counties.

Commissioners also received a letter of resignation from Whalen expressing her disappointment with the county’s effort to keep her on staff in Swift County. Though Whalen’s letter had been submitted to the county board, it was not in the board’s public packet nor was it scheduled for discussion.

“It is my understanding that my resignation letter may not have been provided to the commissioners, so I am simply here today to give copies…to commissioners,” she said.

 “I was not looking to leave Swift County and was not actively looking at or applying for new employment,” Whalen wrote the county board.  “Instead, I was informally recruited to apply with Stevens County.”

That contact led to Whalen receiving a competitive offer from Stevens County, which she then informed Olson about...

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