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DFL officer has criminal past

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Democrats Updated: February 4, 2011 - 5:49 PM

DFL affirmative action officer Frank Brown's criminal history has come up as he runs for party re-election.

In 1999, Brown was convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct.

He said he had his voting rights restored in 2009 and he still must register as a sex offender for the next two years. 

According to public records, he was incarcerated in 1999 and served his time in St. Cloud, Moose Lake and Lino Lakes. He was placed on supervised release in 2004 and discharged in 2009, according to the records. The records do not show any re-offense.

"I had talked about it publicly but I hadn't ever talked about it publicly in the DFL itself," Brown said. He has been active with the Second Chance Coalition, which pushes to allow people who have "committed crimes to redeem themselves, fully support themselves and their families, and contribute to their communities to their full potential." With Second Chance, he has spoken of his felony conviction in a general way.

Brown said he served his time, took classes and fully realized his mistakes.

"I changed who I was as a person," he said.

He shared his Second Chance speech and an explanation of his background with supporters and DFLers recently after his history came up in his re-election fight.

At their Business Conference on Saturday, DFL activists will vote on whether to retain him as Affirmative Action Chair or vote for his opponent Eric Margolis.

DFLers Saturday will also elect a new party chair. Ken Martin, a longtime DFL operative who managed the heavy spending Win Minnesota in the 2010 election, is running unopposed.

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