- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Conviction reversed for man who refused blood test

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a suspected drunken driver who pleaded guilty to refusing to submit to a blood test in 2012.

The appellate court found that a warrantless search of the man’s blood was unconstitutional, so charging him with refusing to submit to that test was a fundamental violation of his rights.

The case was sent back to the lower court so the man could withdraw his guilty plea.

One judge dissented from the majority, saying the decision would lead police officers to seek warrants in every suspected drunken driving case.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case, plans to appeal to the state Supreme Court.


Dayton calls for more funding to fight racial disparities

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton is pledging to increase funding for satellite offices of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

Dayton made that pledge Tuesday at a community forum in St. Cloud. The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1ZAPTR3https://strib.mn/1ZAPTR3 ) reports at the forum, Dayton heard about racial tensions in the St. Cloud area and other economic concerns.

The event was hosted by the Central Minnesota chapter of the NAACP. It was the first of many listening events Dayton said he would conduct to learn more about what his administration can do to address racial disparities affecting black Minnesotans.

Dayton told the audience, made up of Somali immigrants, African-Americans and older, white residents, that immigrants are key to Minnesota’s economic prosperity.

In recent days Dayton has promised to redouble efforts to reduce racial disparities in Minnesota.


Lawsuit accuses priest at Minnesota parish of prior abuse

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A priest has been removed from a Minnesota parish after a lawsuit filed Tuesday alleged that he abused a teen in the 1970s.

The lawsuit filed in Stearns County alleges the Rev. Antonio Marfori sexually abused a 15-year-old boy in 1978, when Marfori was a teacher at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud. The complaint names Marfori, the high school and the Diocese of St. Cloud as defendants. Among other things, it claims the diocese should have known Marfori was a risk and that it created a nuisance by concealing information from the public.

The diocese said in a statement that it was reviewing the lawsuit. The allegation has been reported to law enforcement, and Bishop Donald Kettler won’t allow Marfori to function or present himself as a priest while it’s being investigated.

Marfori was most recently assisting with sacramental ministry at the Church of St. Andrew in Elk River. A message left at Marfori’s office wasn’t immediately returned Tuesday. The diocese said he was removed from the parish house at St. Andrew and will live at a residence owned by the diocese during the investigation.

Victims of decades-old sexual abuse allegations are able to pursue civil claims in Minnesota under a law that lifted the statute of limitations for a limited time. Victims in most dioceses and institutions in the state have until May 25 to sue. The one exception is in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where a bankruptcy judge set an earlier deadline.


Court strikes down Minnesota fire sprinkler rule for houses

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals has struck down a state rule that required builders to install firefighting sprinkler systems in new large homes.

The Builders Association of the Twin Cities challenged the rule, calling it arbitrary, costly and beyond the authority of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

The rule required sprinklers in new town houses and single-family homes unless those homes were one story and less than 4,500 square feet in size.

The appeals court said there was no evidence that justified exempting one-story houses under 4,500 square feet, so the rule was invalid.

The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1jn127Ehttps://strib.mn/1jn127E ) reports the Department of Labor is studying the decision.

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