A former Hennepin County employee found to have various weapons and a substantial amount of ammunition in his Minneapolis apartment was charged Thursday with phoning in a bomb threat to a major Hennepin County public works facility in Medina.
Anthony F. Romano, 65, of Minneapolis, was charged in District Court with two counts of terroristic threats in connection with the calls he allegedly made Tuesday to the sprawling property, where about 250 people work for the county's transportation department and Hennepin County Emergency Management.
Romano remains jailed in lieu of $30,000 bail ahead of a court appearance Friday.
Romano was hired as a highway maintenance operator in 1992, and his employment with public works ended in September 2018, a spokeswoman for the county said.
According to the criminal complaint:
Romano called the county's central mobile equipment division about 10 a.m., and the woman who answered recognized his voice from the years they worked together. Romano wanted to speak with the human resources manager, but the woman told Romano the manager wasn't available.
He then told her to get out of the building because there was a bomb. He also said that he and his girlfriend, who had worked in that department until recently, were going to sue the county, the complaint states. A separate court filing in the case suggested that Romano was upset about gossip at the facility.
Romano called back a short time later and the same woman answered. He said there were bombs attached to the fleet of trucks outside the building. The woman reported the threat to her manager.
Sheriff's deputies went to Romano's home and arrested him that day. He admitted he called the division but denied making any threats.
A law enforcement search of his home in the Standish Green Condominiums complex in the 2200 block of E. 40th Street turned up a .40-caliber handgun, a shotgun, a crossbow and bolts and many rounds of ammunition for the two guns and other firearms throughout the residence, one court filing noted. Also seized were documents on a coffee table with county phone numbers listed.