The chairman of the Metro Gang Strike Force's oversight board intervened in a Strike Force case in January, asking an investigator to refrain from seizing his personal vehicle if his daughter was apprehended driving it.
Manila (Bud) Shaver had been told that the vehicle might have been used in a home invasion in Hudson, Wis., involving his daughter's boyfriend, according to police documents obtained Thursday.
The daughter was arrested by St. Paul police later in January on a drug charge, but instead of the vehicle being impounded and searched, it was released to Shaver, who is also chief of the West St. Paul Police Department. It was searched three days later by the St. Croix County, Wis., Sheriff's Office, which found nothing in it.
A Ramsey County district judge has since placed the daughter into a diversion program so she can receive drug treatment.
A Strike Force investigator, John McManus, also disclosed in a police report filed in February that Shaver had "asked him for a favor" -- to make his daughter's boyfriend "a priority" for investigation so Shaver could "get" the boyfriend "out of his daughter's life."
The Strike Force is the subject of two investigations, one by the FBI and the other by a panel appointed by the state Department of Public Safety, after the state Legislative Auditor issued a report in May that was highly critical of the agency.
The report's findings included allegations that many seized vehicles were improperly forfeited, that more than $18,000 in seized cash could not be accounted for, and that a March trip to a conference in Hawaii by six Strike Force members was improperly approved.
Shortly after that report was issued, Strike Force operations were suspended.
McManus, a St. Paul policeman, was one of the Strike Force members who took the Hawaii trip. He also was in charge of disposing of vehicles seized by the unit. Neither McManus nor Shaver could be reached for comment Thursday.
St. Paul Police spokesman Paul Schnell said the department does not plan any further inquiry into the handling of the case involving Shaver's daughter. "We have no complaints against our officers of any policy violations," he said.
The Strike Force got involved in the case when McManus was contacted by St. Croix County deputy Dave Giffert about a home invasion that took place in Hudson on Jan. 13. Three males, including the boyfriend of Shaver's 19-year-old daughter, Anna, were believed to be involved in the invasion in which the intruders threatened a female with a baseball bat over money owed for drugs, McManus wrote in his report on the case.
Giffert said Anna Shaver and her friend, neither of whom had a permanent address, had allegedly been selling methamphetamine in Hudson, and the baseball bat used in the home invasion and a stolen cell phone might still be in the vehicle the couple was driving, McManus wrote.
Giffert also said that the boyfriend was a registered sex offender, and that Anna Shaver was the daughter of the West St. Paul police chief, McManus wrote. (The boyfriend is not being named by the Star Tribune because he has not been charged.)
After that conversation, McManus wrote, he spoke with Lt. Jim Heimerl, interim Strike Force commander, telling him to "proceed as normal" in the investigation. There was a report that the Shaver vehicle was seen in St. Paul, and Heimrl advised McManus to contact Chief Shaver about the situation, McManus wrote.
"Chief Shaver stated his daughter needed treatment for her addiction," McManus wrote. "He went on to say the reason he allowed his daughter to have his vehicle was because he wanted her to have a way to get out of her situation and leave if she chose. Chief Shaver stated she needed to be caught and that way he could get her the help she needed."
McManus wrote that on Jan. 27, Shaver attended a weekly meeting of the Strike Force, and "After the meeting he asked if we did catch his daughter that we contact him and also asked that we not forfeit his vehicle."
Around 10 o'clock that night, two St. Paul police officers found her having sex with the boyfriend in a vehicle in a parking lot of a Holiday gas station on the 600 block of Rice Street, a police report said. The incident was first reported by KMSP-TV on Wednesday.
According to police spokesman Schnell, the officers did not know the boyfriend was wanted for questioning in the Hudson case, and he was not arrested. Schnell said he also was unaware of any bulletins issued by police for the car or the driver.
Anna Shaver told the officers she did not want them to search the vehicle. She was allowed to call her mother and father and then told the officers she had a needle in her purse she had used earlier in the day to shoot meth. Police also found meth in her purse.
Schnell said it is not known if the officers knew she was Shaver's daughter.
Anna Shaver was arrested, and the vehicle was driven to a police lot. Schnell said he thinks it was turned over to Chief Shaver that night. He said it is not St. Paul police policy to always impound a vehicle when a person is arrested on a drug charge. "Many times the car is released to a parent," he said.
On Jan. 28, a police sergeant called McManus to tell him Chief Shaver was asking as a favor that they make it a "priority" to get his daughter's boyfriend, McManus wrote. The sergeant said Anna Shaver had a first appearance in court that day at the county Law Enforcement Center.
McManus wrote that he saw Chief Shaver and his wife at the Law Enforcement Center later that day. McManus told Shaver he would go to the impound lot to check the car and see if the baseball bat and cell phone were in it. "Chief Shaver's wife spoke up and said something to the effect that, oh that may be in the back seat," McManus wrote. "Chief Shaver interrupted her and stated, 'No, that's not what they are talking about.'" McManus wrote that the chief told him the vehicle was at his house in Wisconsin and that McManus should have the St. Croix County sheriff's office contact him, and he would give consent to search the vehicle there.
St. Croix County Sheriff Chief Deputy John Shilts said Thursday his department gave no special treatment to the chief or his daughter. He said the chief allowed his department to search the vehicle on Jan. 30, but nothing was found.
Asked about Shaver's role in the case, Andy Skoogman, a spokesman for Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion, said Campion will withhold judgment or comment "until he can gather all the facts."
Staff writer Heron Marquez Estrada contributed to this report. Randy Furst• 612-673-7382