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Freeborn County detective on paid leave

A Freeborn County sheriff’s detective is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department.

Sheriff Bob Kindler on Friday confirmed Corey Farris was placed on leave Dec. 15 for “matters relating to his employment with Freeborn County.”

Kindler said the Minneapolis Police Department is investigating Farris because of the detective’s involvement with the South Central Drug Task Force. The task force is made up officers and detectives from law enforcement agencies from Waseca, Faribault, Freeborn and Steele counties who enforce controlled substance laws.

“We’re doing this in fairness to everybody,” he said. “We’re bringing in somebody who has no knowledge of anybody involved.”

Kindler did not know when the investigation would be completed.

Farris, employed with the Sheriff’s Office since November 1997, said it was difficult to respond to the investigation because he hasn’t been told what he’s being accused of. He noted, however, he would be willing to talk about each of the allegations with a Herald reporter once he found out.

“I have nothing to hide,” he said. “It is what it is.”

Farris, known for his involvement on the South Central Drug Task Force, said he is frustrated with the rumors circulating.

“I get sick of getting run through the rumor mill when I try to do the best job I can,” he said. “I’ve done a lot for this county.”

That rumor mill has been fanned partly by Lynne Torgerson, a Minneapolis lawyer running for Congress in the 5th District. She regularly presses the issue of the detective’s employment on her website, even though Freeborn County is outside the district.

Farris was convicted in March 2001 for misdemeanor disorderly conduct for inappropriately touching a 17-year-old boy staying in his home, according to court documents. He was sentenced to a stayed 30-day jail sentence, with one year of supervised probation.

After the conviction, he continued with the Sheriff’s office and up until May 2011 worked as a detective and supervisor. At that point, the Sheriff’s office went through a reorganization, after which Farris became solely a detective.

Farris said the investigation has nothing to do with the misdemeanor from 10 years ago.