East Grand Forks City Attorney Ronald Galstad was short on substantive answers recently, when reporters asked him questions about a $510,000 loan from EDHA to the City of East Grand Forks, which went completely unpaid for ten years.
However – many believe reporters and federal investigators should be looking at Galstad as a participant in the criminal fraud.
The basis for suspicion stems from Galstad’s obsession with a local investigative journalist – Timothy Charles Holmseth.
During a court hearing in January of 2013, Galstad told the Honorable Tamara Yon he was associated with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) regarding a computer hard-drive he had ordered to be seized from Holmseth by the East Grand Forks Police Department (EGFPD).
During the violent SWAT style raid, the EGFD placed stickers on Holmseth’s journalism equipment and data storage containers that read “Minnesota Department of Public Safety – Bureau of Criminal Apprehension – St. Paul, MN”.
Galstad told Judge Yon that the ‘Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’ would not conduct a forensic search of Holmseth’s computer without another – separate – warrant. He claimed he would be requesting a second warrant – but never did.
Galstad was lying to the judge.
Galstad wasn’t working with the BCA, and did not tell the Judge that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) and EGFPD were already (illegally) searching Holmseth’s computer (later revealed by the Administrator Log that showed it was secretly searched in police custody), while generating no ‘Record of Examination’ or ‘Chain of Evidence’ documents.
Galstad got caught in his deception regarding Holmseth’s computer/hard-drive when officials at the BCA and DPS stated in writing they had no connection to Galstad, his investigations, or the armed raid on Holmseth’s home-office.
“The BCA had no role in the investigation you describe and did not attach any tags to evidence in that case,” said Jill Oliveira, public information officer, Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
“We were not requested to conduct a forensic examination on your computer, said Drew Evans, assistant superintendent, BCA.
Experts in criminology believe Galstad was searching the computer for information he feared Holmseth had gathered about the local criminal enterprise.
PCSO Investigator Michael Norland stated in open Court that he searched Holmseth’s hard-drive but found absolutely no sign of criminal activity.
Holmseth’s hard-drive and equipment was returned on April 26, 2013, by order of the Court.
It had been deliberately rendered in-operable and will cost Holmseth thousands of dollars to recover.