Pressure mounts for EGF City officials to discuss Galstad’s role in Boardwalk Enterprises scandal
by Timothy Charles Holmseth
Transcripts from a January 4, 2013, court hearing at the Polk County Justice Center reveal EGF City Attorney Ronald Galstad made multiple false statements to a Judge about a (fictitious) relationship invented by the Prosecution between the City of EGF and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
Galstad’s statements, which were recently transcribed by Honorable Tamara Yon’s clerk, reveal the embattled attorney spun a web of lies regarding a hard-drive that had been seized by a local journalist in a Gestapo style raid in December of 2012.
Galstad told Judge Yon the Prosecution for the City of East Grand Forks/State of Minnesota vs. Timothy Charles Holmseth had been in communication with the BCA regarding a hard-drive that had been seized from Holmseth.
Holmseth is/was a journalist and author that was reporting on a national profile child kidnapping, as well as investigating local corruption.
“I’ve just been notified that the BCA, before they’ll do a forensic search of that computer, wants either an order of this Court or a search warrant that says that they can – – we got the original search warrant, but for whatever reason the BCA wants something that says that they can actually search that hard-drive. So I am going to be either, one, asking – – or requesting an additional warrant for forensic search of that computer hard-drive or the Court can make that Order as they see fit, but I am going to be doing that,” Galstad said.
Galstad’s claims to the Judge to be in contact with the BCA were pure fiction.
“The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension had no involvement in this case. We were not requested to conduct a forensic examination on your computer,” said Drew Evans, assistant superintendent, BCA.
Galstad’s statements expose the fact the Prosecution was very well aware that the search warrant used to seize and retain Holmseth’s hard-drive, did not direct or authorize any subsequent forensic search of the hard-drive.
But the Prosecution secretly searched it anyway.
Documents requested by Holmseth eventually resulted in the admission by EGF Police Chief Michael Hedlund that the hard-drive had been searched while in police custody.
According to a Sheriff’s Report, on April 3, 2013, Sgt. Michael Norland, Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), searched the hard-drive using a computer program that leaves no trace. According to Sheriff Barb Erdman, there was no ‘Record of Examination’ kept during Norland’s search.
On April 26, 2013, Holmseth’s hard-drive and journalism equipment was returned by court order. The equipment and property was bagged with evidence stickers that read ‘Minnesota Department of Public Safety – Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’.
The use of the stickers appears to be part of a planned hoax that included the BCA.
“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.
There is no police record or log tracking the location or movements of the property, which was seized from Holmseth on December 14, 2012, because neither the EGFPD nor the PCSO kept a ‘Chain of Evidence’ log.
On December 8, 2013, Timothy Holmseth, working with information he had obtained, reported the City of East Grand Forks to the Minnesota State Auditor.
On April 30, 2014, the Grand Forks Herald reported ‘$510,000 loan goes unpaid for 10 years’ as result of a call for an audit. The scandal involves a loan scam that enriched participants in a business called Boardwalk Enterprises LLP.
The mechanics of the scam resemble basic fraud and money laundering techniques.
On May 7, 2014, EGF officials met with representatives of Boardwalk Enterprises to discuss a solution to unpaid load dilemma. The closed-door meeting was held at the private law office of Ronald Galstad.
The City of EGF refuses to disclose the name(s) of all attorneys present at the meeting and has deferred all questions regarding Ronald Galstad to Jon Inverson, the attorney representing the City in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Holmseth.
The City of EGF has yet to address public concern and suspicion that Ronald Galstad was the attorney for both Boardwalk Enterprises and the City of EGF at the same meeting.
If Galstad was the attorney for both entities – that means he was the attorney (and/or a member) of Boardwalk Enterprises during the ten years the loan went unpaid – and – the attorney for the City of EGF at the same time.