What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Seward school aide pleads guilty on weapons charge

Posted by: Steve Brandt under Politics and government, Public safety, Urban living Updated: June 12, 2013 - 11:18 AM

A Minneapolis education assistant has been put on a year’s probation and remains on unpaid leave after bringing a loaded handgun to Seward Montessori School the week after school shootings grabbed national attention in December.

The district identified the aide who brought the .357 Magnum gun to the school as Kathleen E. Scozzari, in response to a Star Tribune data practices law request. She is a 21-year district employee.

The 59-year-old northeast Minneapolis resident has been on leave without pay from her $19.90 per hour job since the Dec. 19 incident, in which her gun was recovered from her locked locker in a staff room.  The incident occurred a week after the mass school shootings in Newton, Conn.

“She was immediately cooperative. She explained her motives to the police right away," said attorney Sarah MacGillis, who represented Scozzari. "Her principal concern was protecting the students.” 

McGillis said that Scozzari pled guilty under a misdemeanor portion of the law generally banning dangerous weapons from schools as a felony. That's because she had a permit to carry a gun. Adults who have a state permit to carry a gun may bring the firearm to school only with written permission from a principal or other school authority. 

Scozzari pleaded guilty to possession of a dangerous weapon in Hennepin County District Court last month. In addition to the probation, she was given a sentence of five days of community service. But MacGillis said Scozzari's conviction wil be vacated if she successfully completes probation.

According to the district, a final disposition hasn’t been reached in its investigation of her and she remains a district employee, although she is not on active status. Star Tribune calls to her household for comment were hung up on.

More recently, police were reported to be still investigating a May incident in which a firearm brought to Bethune Community School discharged on school grounds.
 

 

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