Chief deputy attorney resigns

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 5, 2001

Glen Jacobsen has resigned as the chief deputy prosecutor for the Mower County Attorney.

Thursday, July 05, 2001

Glen Jacobsen has resigned as the chief deputy prosecutor for the Mower County Attorney.

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Patrick A. Oman, the Mower County Attorney, will seek a temporary attorney to fill the position vacated by Jacobsen. Oman expects to have a new attorney in place within six weeks.

In addition to his duties as the chief deputy prosecutor, Jacobsen served as legal counsel for the Mower County Board of Commissioners and county planning commission.

Craig Oscarson, county coordinator, informed the county commissioners of Jacobsen’s decision at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

The commissioners granted Jacobsen four weeks of severance pay. He was not in the county attorney’s office Tuesday; nor was he available at home for comment.

Oman could have appointed a replacement for Jacobsen, according to Oscarson, who said the chief deputy prosecutor "serves at the pleasure of the county board.

Jacobsen has been in the forefront of an ongoing battle between the county and the City of Austin over the city taking a greater financial role in reimbursing the county for the cases prosecuted by the Mower County Attorney’s staff for the city.

This debate came after the city objected to the county’s action to increase the fees charged tothe city for housing prisoners.

Jacobsen also incurred the wrath of peace officers, who believed he was not prosecuting criminal cases brought to the county attorney’s office strenuously enough.

Those complaints, coupled with dissatisfaction with the over-all prosecution of criminal cases included a private confrontation between peace officers and the county attorney’s staff over a year ago.

Most recently, still another protest was expected to be launched by peace officers.

Jacobsen’s resignation comes at a critical time for the Mower County Attorney’s office.

Recently, the murder trial of three defendants accused in the June 2000 murders of two men at the Downtown Motel resulted in a change of venue to Hastings in Dakota County.

While the defendants were found guilty, one of them remains to be sentenced, while a fourth remains in the Mower County Jail on lesser charges.

All of the defendants face escape charges after the March 25 break-out from the Mower County Jail.

In addition, an Austin woman accused of being the getaway driver for two of the defendants also must be prosecuted for the charges.

But that is only one capital murder case, facing the Mower County Attorney’s office attention.

The adopted son of a prominent Austin attorney is in the county jail, awaiting an omnibus hearing on charges he murdered his father and a female companion of his father in February.

Also, one man is in the county jail awaiting an omnibus hearing on charges he facilitated the death of a man during the manufacture of methamphetamine drugs at a southwest Austin residence. Still another man is expected to be charged in court in connection with the same homicide.

Jacobsen conducted research of the criminal case filings in Mower County Third Judicial District Court and found they have more than tripled in the last three years, indicating the caseload facing the Mower County Attorney’s staff is growing.

During the time of the Downtown Motel murder suspects’ change of venue, the county commissioners granted Oman permission to hire a temporary attorney to help process criminal cases.

Also this summer, the Mower County Attorney Robert Auron died.

After learning of Jacobsen’s resignation, Austin Police Chief Paul M. Philipp expressed "hope" the Mower County Attorney’s office could meet the challenge it faces.

"It is my hope and belief the County Attorney will do what is necessary to get the job done in the interim," said Police Chief Philipp.

Mower County Sheriff Barry J. Simonson also expressed the same hope. "I agree," Simonson said, "I hope the County Attorney can get the job done for the citizens of Mower County."

Call Lee Bonorden at 434-2232 or e-mail him at