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Paul McEnroe

Investigative reporter | General assignment and quasi-government agencies
phone: 612-673-1745
Paul McEnroe has been a reporter at the Star Tribune since 1980, specializing in coverage of social justice issues, including failures in the child protection system, addicted youth, domestic violence, foster care and abuses of the mentally retarded. His investigations include “The Informant,” on the FBI’s 2007-08 corruption probe inside the Minneapolis Police Department; an examination of factors leading to the collapse of the I-35W Bridge, including the series “Money vs. Safety”; the plane crash that killed U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone; and the unsavory fund-raising machine of Vietnam-era Hmong warrior Gen. Vang Pao. McEnroe has covered the Gulf War, the conflict in Bosnia-Croatia and the Iraq War. In 2005, he was named an Ochberg Fellow by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma for his longtime coverage of victims of violence. He holds a Master’s Degree in journalism from Michigan State University and is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he teaches investigative and in-depth reporting.
Recent content from Paul McEnroe
Misconduct allegations 'dumbfounded' Nienstedt

Misconduct allegations 'dumbfounded' Nienstedt

The former archbishop denies allegations of personal misconduct that emerged last year during an internal church investigation of his behavior — a report that the archdiocese now is considering making public.
Judge denies bail for Minnesota man charged in terrorism conspiracy

Judge denies bail for Minnesota man charged in terrorism conspiracy

“This stuff is fake,” said the mother of two men charged in a terrorism conspiracy before a hearing Thursday for her oldest son.

Duo's parents knew of plan to join ISIL, feds say

Mohamed Farah's father denied the allegations as prosecutors publicly cite for the first time the ongoing cooperation of a related defendant.
Feds: Accused ISIL recruit threatened to kill FBI agents

Feds: Accused ISIL recruit threatened to kill FBI agents

Prosecutors say confidential informant's recordings document suspected ISIL recruits' disdain for U.S. law.
2 Twin Cities men in terrorism case now face fraud charges

2 Twin Cities men in terrorism case now face fraud charges

Two Twin Cities men charged with conspiracy to fight alongside terrorists now face financial fraud charges for allegedly using their college loans to purchase airline tickets to fly to the Middle East.
Terror recruiter with roots in Minn. linked to Texas shooting

Terror recruiter with roots in Minn. linked to Texas shooting

Mpls. teen who left in 2007 to join Al-Shabab is now a “cyber jihadi” linked to Texas shooting.
Body of missing Stillwater woman believed to have been found

Body of missing Stillwater woman believed to have been found

The body of a 24-year-old Stillwater woman, missing since last week, is believed to have been found Saturday afternoon in the St. Croix River north…
Mpls. nonprofit tries to pull teens from terror's grasp

Mpls. nonprofit tries to pull teens from terror's grasp

Today, a group of Minnesotans are working together to see if radicalized Somali-American youths can be talked off the path of violence and extremism.
Heartbroken Minneapolis mother puzzles over son's arrest

Heartbroken Minneapolis mother puzzles over son's arrest

The question of terrorism has shadowed the home of Fadumo Hussein since 2007, leaving only answers of heartbreak and confusion. “He told me, ‘Mom, I promise, I’m not involved,’ ” the Minneapolis mom said of son Guled Omar.
Six more from Minn. charged with planning to join ISIL

Six more from Minn. charged with planning to join ISIL

FBI agents made arrests Sunday as the six planned to leave the U.S., prosecutors say.

Feb. 19, 2015: Mpls. man pulled off flight indicted on terror charges

Hamza Ahmed, 19, had a Middle East trip booked to aid the Islamic State.
Sept. 21, 2014: Slick videos, social media lure Minnesotans

Sept. 21, 2014: Slick videos, social media lure Minnesotans

Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has zeroed in on Minnesota, home to the largest Somali population in the country, as a target-rich recruiting ground for fighters.
Legislative auditor to investigate Minneapolis Urban League

Legislative auditor to investigate Minneapolis Urban League

The legislative auditor will look into alleged double-billing for education programs.
Obituary: Marlene Smith, the 'Water Tower Lady' of Lindstrom, was an accomplished executive

Obituary: Marlene Smith, the 'Water Tower Lady' of Lindstrom, was an accomplished executive

Raised on a farm, Smith appreciated hard work and loved to help others.
March 31: St. Cloud State professor arrested for allegedly smuggling ivory

March 31: St. Cloud State professor arrested for allegedly smuggling ivory

Federal agents say the philosophy professor traded in illegal elephant ivory and other restricted wildlife part from 2006 through at least 2011.

Department of Corrections settles lawsuit with family of prisoner who died after being denied treatment

This settlement brings the total the department has paid to settle medical maltreatment lawsuits to nearly $1.5 million.
Union, workers: Staffing shortage contributed to suicide at state facility

Union, workers: Staffing shortage contributed to suicide at state facility

The suicide Sunday night of a mentally ill, chemically dependent patient at the state facility will be investigated by an independent examiner, state officials said.
Angry local Somalis allege racial profiling, harassment at airports

Angry local Somalis allege racial profiling, harassment at airports

Despite security clearances from the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service, Somali youth leader Mohamed Farah from Minneapolis says he cannot board a plane at the Twin Cities airport without being stopped and double-screened by agents of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Area Muslim leaders call federal outreach cloak for spying

Area Muslim leaders call federal outreach cloak for spying

Mosques should not “become places of spying,” an imam says in faulting new federal outreach efforts.

Twin Cities suspect arrested by FBI was pulled off flight to Middle East

Hamza Ahmed is accused of lying in terror probe.
Bemidji confronts making places for mentally ill in crisis

Bemidji confronts making places for mentally ill in crisis

Prosecutors, judges and others support a plan to create four regional “jail diversion” hubs.
Minneapolis FBI refused to use Somali outreach for spying

Minneapolis FBI refused to use Somali outreach for spying

A 2009 directive from national headquarters sought to use community outreach to gather intelligence on terrorist recruitment, but Kyle Loven, above, of the local office says Minneapolis agents never followed it.
String of failures came before suicidal 6-year-old's death

String of failures came before suicidal 6-year-old's death

Child protection workers and care providers failed to work together for more than a year to safeguard 6-year-old Kendrea Johnson, despite knowing she was severely mentally ill and living in a chaotic Brooklyn Park foster home, according to records.

Minnesota Somali reportedly killed in terrorist fighting in Syria

Somali-American thought to be fighting for terrorists.
Former Stillwater mayor charged in fraud scheme

Former Stillwater mayor charged in fraud scheme

Federal prosecutors allege that Ken Harycki helped a home health company defraud Medicaid and avoid taxes.
No. 1: Behind Adrian Peterson's perfect image lay an imperfect person

No. 1: Behind Adrian Peterson's perfect image lay an imperfect person

Adrian Peterson was the face of the Vikings and marketing magic, his brushes with the law and personal life ignored – until suddenly no one could look away.

Minnesota to pay $200,000 in latest lawsuit after inmate treated at prison dies

David Picard, 32, died from pneumonia, sepsis after nurses failed to offer proper care.
'Recovery center' could replace jail for mentally ill offenders

'Recovery center' could replace jail for mentally ill offenders

Troubled by years of horrific and costly incidents at the Hennepin County jail, officials are proposing a sweeping overhaul of the way mentally ill adults are treated after being arrested, detained and funneled into the criminal justice system.

St. Paul woman charged with stealing passport to travel to Syria

A St. Paul woman was charged in federal court Tuesday with stealing a passport in order to travel to Syria, where she is believed to…
Obituary: Marie Shaw Wolpert 'blew a fuse' in Hollywood, made Humphrey laugh

Obituary: Marie Shaw Wolpert 'blew a fuse' in Hollywood, made Humphrey laugh

Deep inside a long-gone Minneapolis hotel known as The Minnesotan, there was a red lounge called the “Panther Room,” a nightclub that teased the senses…

2 Minneapolis men charged with attempting to aid terrorists

Federal prosecutors are investigating an ISIL recruitment pipeline
To fend off terror recruiting, U.S. Attorney Andy Luger unveils Somali community effort

To fend off terror recruiting, U.S. Attorney Andy Luger unveils Somali community effort

U.S. attorney to seek funds for programs that lure young Somalis away from radicalism.

State to pay $203K to sex offender raped in custody

Staff at sex offender facility failed to step in and prevent inmate’s attack on his cellmate.
Homeland Security chief pledges to work with Somali community

Homeland Security chief pledges to work with Somali community

Jeh Johnson vowed to act against racial profiling at airport security.
May 21: St. Peter mental hospital faulted for bloody killing

May 21: St. Peter mental hospital faulted for bloody killing

State investigation cites St. Peter facility for “unacceptable failure” in January murder of patient.
June 20: 7 Minnesotans indicted as a fraud ring that stole $1M

June 20: 7 Minnesotans indicted as a fraud ring that stole $1M

Theft of ID info led to bad checks, tax returns, federal charges say.
Koochiching County jail suicide highlights lapses in care of mentally ill

Koochiching County jail suicide highlights lapses in care of mentally ill

A 28-year-old mother died after jailers failed to take basic precautions.
Lost in federal prison – and held 13 months too long

Lost in federal prison – and held 13 months too long

Jermaine Hickman is suing the federal Bureau of Prisons in what appears to be one of the most egregious cases of illegal incarceration in recent federal history.

Mentally ill and beaten, man sues Beltrami County jailers

Suit says Beltrami County shirked responsibility for medical care needed by victim after beating.
Oct. 29, 2013: A Beltrami County inmate was jailed, beaten – then freed

Oct. 29, 2013: A Beltrami County inmate was jailed, beaten – then freed

The mentally ill man in Bemidji was “furloughed” when he needed costly hospital care in Minneapolis.

Hennepin County correctional officer indicted on drug charges

Her alleged role in a meth-dealing ring led to charges.
Jan. 24, 2013: Background checks on guns flawed, officials say

Jan. 24, 2013: Background checks on guns flawed, officials say

Top law enforcement officials tell legislators to fix mental health loopholes. A coalition of top law enforcement officials want legislative help to keep the mentally ill out of prisons and guns out of the hands of people already disqualified from owning them.
Jan. 20, 2013: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal, exposing loopholes in laws, background checks

Jan. 20, 2013: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal, exposing loopholes in laws, background checks

The Oberender case exposes loopholes in national gun laws and Minnesota's background checks.

Sept. 4: St. Paul woman recruited to aid terrorists in Syria

19-year-old St. Paul woman has left to help wounded terrorists, according to a family member.
Sept. 7: Federal grand jury targets local terrorist pipeline

Sept. 7: Federal grand jury targets local terrorist pipeline

Between 20-30 Somalis may have conspired to join terrorists.
Second Minnesota fighter may have been killed in Syria

Second Minnesota fighter may have been killed in Syria

The FBI is looking into the possibility that a Twin Cities Somali man was killed in Syria fighting with terrorists.
Obituary: Albert 'Alby' Zatkoff, managing editor at Best Buy website

Obituary: Albert 'Alby' Zatkoff, managing editor at Best Buy website

After enduring his first rounds of chemotherapy at North Memorial Medical Center’s Humphrey Cancer Center in February 2013, Albert Zatkoff decided to step it up…
Feds bust worldwide smartphone theft ring based in Twin Cities

Feds bust worldwide smartphone theft ring based in Twin Cities

Family who own dozen metro area phone stores accused of reaping more than $4 million from selling stolen phones. The estimated profit on the resale of each stolen phone ranged between $500 to $1,000, authorities said.

Torture at St. Paul drug house leads to guilty plea

A Mexican cartel sent enforcers to Minnesota to recover stolen drugs.
Minneapolis gang member in jail gun ring pleads guilty

Minneapolis gang member in jail gun ring pleads guilty

Agents say he romanced a corrections officer and got her to buy guns for him.
Sept. 5, 2013: Ex-regulator got job at track she oversaw

Sept. 5, 2013: Ex-regulator got job at track she oversaw

Racing Commission must now ensure the industry’s ethics.
Minnesota will pay $130,000 to settle Stillwater prison lawsuit

Minnesota will pay $130,000 to settle Stillwater prison lawsuit

Inmate settles suit claiming negligence by the medical staff at Stillwater prison.
July 30, 2013: Stillwater inmate sues state over his medical care

July 30, 2013: Stillwater inmate sues state over his medical care

He says neglect in Stillwater prison left him with permanent nerve damage.
April 3, 2014: Prison nurse says boss shredded embarrassing medical log

April 3, 2014: Prison nurse says boss shredded embarrassing medical log

A supervisor at Stillwater state prison destroyed health records in which a nurse had mockingly written “Faker!” about a critically ill inmate.
Nov. 12, 2012: 'I felt like they were trying to kill me'

Nov. 12, 2012: 'I felt like they were trying to kill me'

Lapses in prison medical care have produced tragic results for inmates.

Panel recommends release of man held in Minn. sex offender program

In first test of MSOP ruling, state must show that this patient poses a public risk.

Medication of St. Peter patient called maltreatment

Powerful drug administered against patient’s wishes.
Obituary: Wendell DeBoer took up running at 48 and didn't quit until he was 85

Obituary: Wendell DeBoer took up running at 48 and didn't quit until he was 85

You might have seen him out there on one of those nasty winter mornings — the kind that separates the fair-weather jogger from the hardy…

Guard fired by Hennepin Co. and sought in gun-buy case surrenders

Ex-corrections officer faces charges of helping to arm 3 gang members.
Feds: Fired Hennepin Co. guard, school cook helped arm gang

Feds: Fired Hennepin Co. guard, school cook helped arm gang

Fired officer and Mpls. schools cook are indicted in a conspiracy to buy guns for gang members.
Mexican drug cartel enforcers torture teens in St. Paul

Mexican drug cartel enforcers torture teens in St. Paul

Professionals were sent in to recover drugs stolen from Sinaloan syndicate.
April 18: Minnesota heroin crackdown nets 65 arrests, $250K in cash

April 18: Minnesota heroin crackdown nets 65 arrests, $250K in cash

The raids, carried out by federal and state drug agents in the Twin Cities, Duluth and Rochester, mark a new effort to crack down on the operations of Mexican drug cartels.
March 24: Cartels pipe heroin, death into the heartland

March 24: Cartels pipe heroin, death into the heartland

The wreckage can be seen across the Twin Cities — from the Anoka County gathering where parents told stories of death and addiction, to the Scott County, where a pregnant addict was sentenced to jail.

Legislative auditor urges stronger oversight of Minn. prison medical care

Minnesota’s prison health care system lacks adequate oversight and outside accountability, factors that have contributed to deaths of inmates and failures in care, according to a report issued Thursday by Legislative Auditor James Nobles.

Medical provider is sued in Lino Lakes inmate's death in 2011

After pleas for medical help were allegedly ignored, a 34-year-old inmate at Lino Lakes died in his cell in 2011.
Obituary: Hal Seymour, newspaper editor

Obituary: Hal Seymour, newspaper editor

Hal Seymour was known as the “Gray Shark” at the old Minneapolis Star — a lanky editor with a slick ducktail and steely eyes who…
Male sex offender was housed in a coed unit at Anoka treatment center

Male sex offender was housed in a coed unit at Anoka treatment center

He has since been moved; state officials say they have safeguards to protect vulnerable patients.
Patient at St. Peter hospital charged with murder in killing of another patient

Patient at St. Peter hospital charged with murder in killing of another patient

A mentally ill patient has confessed that he killed a fellow patient at the Minnesota Security Hospital because he was angry that he was unable…

Derailed: A Star Tribune Investigation

From Minnesota to California, BNSF Corp. has drawn judicial penalties for misconduct.
Bloody killing at St. Peter security hospital is 1st in 30 years

Bloody killing at St. Peter security hospital is 1st in 30 years

Mentally ill man is held in death at the troubled Security Hospital.
Jan. 1: Minnesota Security Hospital: Staff in crisis spreads turmoil

Jan. 1: Minnesota Security Hospital: Staff in crisis spreads turmoil

Changing culture and filling jobs have proved difficult at the Minnesota Security Hospital, a sprawling facility that houses more than 300 patients on the outskirts of St. Peter.

Minnesota Security Hospital psychiatrist scolded for shock therapy threat

The decision by Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson overrules the department’s inspector general, who decided last month that the psychiatrist’s threats didn’t merit a finding of maltreatment.
State is sued in death of Lino Lakes prison inmate

State is sued in death of Lino Lakes prison inmate

Nurses refused David Picard treatment for his severe respiratory infection.
2 senators block Franken's mental health bill, cite state responsibility

2 senators block Franken's mental health bill, cite state responsibility

The bill authorizes $40 ­million to extend funding for mental health courts for five years, creates more crisis intervention teams to work closely with police, and offers veterans better screening.
Obituary: Donald Zierdan, Mpls. police officer, dies at 77

Obituary: Donald Zierdan, Mpls. police officer, dies at 77

The Third Precinct in south Minneapolis encompasses neighborhoods of struggle and calm. A rookie cop soon learns that, more than by using a map, he…
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