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Stephen Montemayor

Reporter | U.S. District Court and federal agencies
Phone: 612-673-1755
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Stephen Montemayor covers politics and government in Minnesota. He previously reported on federal courts and law enforcement for the Star Tribune.


A native of Kansas City, Montemayor lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two cats. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism and enjoys camping, travel and a good beer.
Recent content from Stephen Montemayor
Nely Bautista had to confront her boss to get the $390 she was owed for a cleaning job.

Minn. attorney general, lawmakers look to crack down on wage theft

Attorney General Keith Ellison is creating a new labor division to address economic crimes.

Senate panel to take up Minnesota's 'marital rape' exception

Monday hearing comes as deadline to move bill nears.
Former Minnesota Attorney Generals Lori Swanson and Mike Hatch.

Former AGs Lori Swanson, Mike Hatch to open Mpls. law firm

The firm brings together the last two state attorneys general, both of them litigators with a long history of working together in Minnesota's legal community.
A man looks at his phone while driving.

Distracted driving bill clears Minn. House; Senate vote expected soon

If the measure becomes law, Minnesota would join 16 states and the District of Columbia in banning cellphone use by motorists unless they use active hands-free technology while they drive.
First Lady Gwen Walz, shown in February at the governor's residence.

Gwen Walz: 'We are coming' after Minnesota senators who don't support gun measures

GOP Senate majority leader said the issue more likely to be taken up next year.
Minnesota State Capitol

'We forget about them': Mentally ill find new allies at State Capitol

Lawmakers look at ways to get people to treatment, not jail, faster.
Acknowledging a lack of trust around investigations of Minnesota officers who use deadly force, the state’s new public safety commissioner is among

'Lack of trust' in investigating Minnesota police shootings under scrutiny

The state's new public safety commissioner is among a growing set of law enforcement leaders now studying new approaches to such cases.

Minnesota attorney general sounds alarm over 'tech support' scammers

Keith Ellison said office fielded more than 300 complaints last year.

Minnesota, 20 other states try to block Trump administration's new family planning 'gag rule'

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison joined the group of Democratic state attorneys general for the second federal legal challenge to the new policy in as many days.
Lawyers at a University of St. Thomas conference last week listened to lawyer and drug counselor Patrick Krill describe a crisis of rampant mental ill

Minnesota Supreme Court taking aim at mental health 'crisis' in legal profession

The court is alarmed by high levels of depression, anxiety and stress among practicing attorneys.
Katherine Schafer, left, of Protect Minnesota , and Jack Johnson of theGun Owners Caucus spoke durning Wednesday's House Public Safety Committee heari

Minn. gun debate in spotlight as two bills draw emotional testimony

A House committee is expected to advance bills that face murkier prospects in state Senate.
Minnesota’s only private prison, Prairie Correctional Facility, a 1,600-bed prison in Appleton, Minn., has been dormant since losing contracts in 20

New legislative measures would boot private prison industry from Minnesota

State's sole private facility has been unused since 2010.
Joseph Gomm

Lawmakers seeking to compensate family of slain Stillwater corrections officer

Measures would award $3 million in death of Joseph Gomm in 2018.
Jenny Teeson, with her parents Jerry and Terry Teeson, reacted to the unanimous House vote on the bill to outlaw marital rape.

No conviction for drugging, raping wife — because it's legal

One woman's trauma is pushing Minnesota lawmakers to repeal what is known as the marital rape exception.
Stillwater prison.

New black leaders in Minnesota bring message of hope to Stillwater prisoners

Attorney general, St. Paul mayor and Public Safety head visited Stillwater.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison creating task force on drug prices

State A.G. forms group to suggest litigation, legislative strategies.
Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River

Minn. lawmaker wants to increase penalties on false hate crime reports

Rep. Nick Zerwas cites "Empire" actor's case as motivation.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

Minn. joins suit to halt Trump's emergency declaration

Minnesota joined 15 states Monday in asking a California federal judge to halt President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration, arguing that diverting funds to build a border wall would hurt the state's national guard and frustrate counter-narcotic efforts.
Jennifer Schroeder is a St. Paul woman who rebounded from her own addiction to become a licensed drug and alcohol counselor. She recently spoke out du

On probation until 2053? Draconian sentencing in Minn. is target of move to wipe out disparities

Draconian sentencing in state is the target of move to wipe out disparities.
From left, Muna Galbayte Anna Feist and Maya West, all of Eden Prairie, comforted one anotehr as names of Minnesota gun victims from 2018 were read al

Parkland anniversary marked at State Capitol by calls for new Minnesota gun measures

Background checks, "red flag" laws sought by Minnesota advocates.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon is increasing pressure on legislators to help his office claim $6.6 million in federal dollars to increase el

Federal election security funding due for Minnesota hits snag in Legislature

Minnesota is lone state to not yet access federally approved money to improve security.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

AG Ellison sides with California effort backing immigrants with protected status

Minnesota among 22 states calling on federal court to uphold injunction.
Keith Ellison is surrounded by people following the listening session last month.

Ellison seeks increase in Attorney General's Office budget

The new attorney general underlies the need to raise his lawyers' salaries.
Beth Benti, a Second Chance Coalition board member, handed out T-shirts during the “Second Chance Day on the Hill Rally” on Thursday. The rally in

Minnesota first lady, law enforcement leaders join push to restore felons' voting rights

An annual rally underlined support from new leadership at Capitol.
A driver texted on her cellphone while waiting for a traffic light to change in Eagan in 2016. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia now have ha

Distracted-driving bills could be up for Minn. Senate vote soon

Hands-free measure and increased penalties cruised through committees.
Renee Brown-Goodell, photographed at The Woman's Club of Minneapolis Tuesday afternoon.

Push to restore felon voting rights in Minn. gains momentum

Minnesota is one of 22 states where felons cannot vote until they complete post-incarceration supervision. The change could affect as many as 60,000 on probation.
Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, shown in 2016.

Minnesota judicial budget request reflects impending wave of retirements

The judicial branch seeks to raise judges' salaries to stay competitive.

New Minnesota labor trafficking report outlines blueprint for responders

State report calls for better response to exploitative practices in workplaces.
Rep. Carly Melin in 2015. She's expected to be named Attorney General Keith Ellison's legislative affairs director.

Former state Rep. Melin to join Minnesota Attorney General's Office

Melin will be legislative director, and Liz Kramer to be solicitor general.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Ellison: Minnesota receiving $3.1 million in settlements with Walgreens, Johnson & Johnson

Minnesota was among dozens of states to file suit against the two health companies.
Sens. Ron Latz, left, and Paul Gazelka at the Minnesota State Capitol met with their supporters on opposite sides of the debate over expanding gun law

Minnesota Senate focuses on guns amid two big pushes

Efforts to expand background checks and adopt red flag law get rolled out amid a day of outreach by Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus.
In this file photo, Ilhan Omar delivers her victory speech to supporters in a packed ballroom in 2019.

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar calls for end to 'tantrum' over shutdown

President, Democrats remain divided over border wall funding.
Gov. Tim Walz, shown in November at a Veterans Day event in Richfield, pledged to back a developing effort to create a statewide restorative justice p

Walz throws support behind veteran restorative justice push

He assured an audience of veterans and officials from across the state's criminal justice system that the measure would be a priority.
Minn. Senate revives push to repeal law exempting spouses from rape charges

Minn. Senate revives push to repeal law exempting spouses from rape charges

Repeal of "voluntary relationships" statute among package of changes moving through Senate.
An early victory this week in the Minnesota House has Secretary of State Steve Simon optimistic that he will soon be able to access that money to upda

Bid to get Minnesota federal election security money picks up early in session

An early victory this week in the House has Secretary of State Steve Simon optimistic that he will soon be able to access that money to update the state's voter registration system.
New Minnesota judicial selection commissioner pledges to continue diversifying courts

New Minnesota judicial selection commissioner pledges to continue diversifying courts

Lola Velazquez-Aguilu has been on the commission since 2016.
Left, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America chanted in the Capitol Rotunda last week as the group rallied for sensible gun laws as the Legislatu

Battle lines drawn once again over state gun regulations

DFL legislators cite election momentum for two new bills, while firearm rights advocates ready to renew resistance.
David Maeda

Minnetonka city clerk to become Minnesota's next state elections director

David Maeda helped roll out state's first electronic poll books in Minnetonka.
Attorney General Keith Ellison signed the paperwork to make it official after he took the oath of office at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.

Ellison launches into role as 'people's lawyer' of Minnesota

With one hand on a Qur'an, Keith Ellison ushered in a new era Monday for the Minnesota Attorney General's Office, promising to use his new role as "the People's Lawyer" as a vehicle that will take the office's reach to every corner of the state.
“Most of my talking is going to be through the cases that we select,” Keith Ellison said.

Move to Attorney General's Office prompts rare point of transition for Keith Ellison

After 12 years in Congress, his life as attorney general means using law for change.
The proposed guideline changes will be part of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission's annual report to lawmakers, which will be finalized at

Proposed sentencing guideline changes headed to Minnesota lawmakers

Some new measures may shorten prison terms, others are harder on repeat offenders.
John Keller, the longtime head of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, is joining the Minnesota Attorney General's Office staff.

Keith Ellison picks veteran immigration lawyer to be No. 2 in Attorney General's Office

John Keller has led the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota since 2005.
Attorney General Lori Swanson's spoke about the task force's final recommendations on how to reform sex assault investigations during a press conferen

AG's task force on rape cases recommends officer training, more data

Attorney general's task force finished 47-page report for lawmakers to consider.
Christopher Douglas Wood

Postal worker pleads guilty to federal charge for firing into Minneapolis Federal Reserve during fireworks

Authorities found anti-government literature in St. Paul man's apartment.
Eric Reinbold

Minn. author of anti-government 'handbook' handed five-year federal prison sentence in pipe bomb case

Eric James Reinbold, convicted of possessing illegal homemade bombs, diagramed bomb recipes and wrote of attacking government, 'feminists.'
From left, Michael Hari, Joe Morris and Michael McWhorter have been in federal custody since March on charges out of both Illinois and Minnesota, whic

At least 2 Illinois militia members accused in Bloomington mosque bombing to be tried in Minnesota

Defendant sat feet away from Dar Al-Farooq's director.
After Wednesday's verdicts, U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Erica MacDonald called the sex trafficking operation one of largest, most sophisticated transn

St. Paul federal jury convicts all 5 on trial in Thai sex trafficking case

International probe led to charges against 39 people accused of trafficking hundreds of women to U.S.
From left, Michael Hari, Joe Morris and Michael McWhorter have been in federal custody since March on charges out of both Illinois and Minnesota, whic

Attorney: Plea negotiations underway for one of 3 Illinois militia members accused of bombing Minnesota mosque

Michael McWhorter, 29, is second "White Rabbits" member to appear in federal court in St. Paul. He has previously told FBI agents that his group bombed Dar Al-Farooq in 2017.
Michael Morris

Massive Thai sex trafficking case in the hands of St. Paul federal jury

Trial of 5 remaining defendants began Nov. 5.
Mall of America.

Mall of America, U.S. presidents among long list of bomb threats in one man's yearlong campaign

FBI traced source of scores of menacing missives.
U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Donald Yamamoto at a recent forum alongside Jibril Afyare, president of the Somali American Citizens League.

Expectations high for Somalis in Minnesota after U.S. re-establishes permanent diplomatic ties

The U.S. hasn't had an embassy in Somalia for 27 years.

Richfield man who sought 'suicide by cop' after stealing cab sentenced to federal prison

Mario Luis Jones was later arrested without injury days after crashing stolen cab in high-speed chase.

Feds charge postal employee accused of firing into Minneapolis Federal Reserve building

Previous charges describe "End the Fed" literature found in home of Christopher Douglas Wood in August.
New U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald made a pledge to bolster tribal law enforcement.

Crime on tribal lands gets closer scrutiny from federal prosecutors in Minnesota

It's against a backdrop of criticism in recent years over the federal response to crimes on tribal land.
Family of Mark Eric Henderson Jr., 19, of St. Paul, who was fatally shot by police in an incident in Woodbury. Left, brother Fred Henderson, 18, and m

Appeals court: Jury should decide lawsuit against Woodbury police who killed man in 2012 hostage encounter

Police shot unarmed 19-year-old 12 times after he fled a party held hostage by a gunman.
Hossein Larijani

FBI announces $3 million reward for help finding Iranian who sourced IED parts from Minnesota

Armed forces found numerous roadside bombs made using parts illegally sourced from Minnesota.
In 2017, Gregory Brooker, who was acting U.S. attorney, announced a second wave of indictments in what was described as the largest sex trafficking co

Thai trafficking victim tells Minnesota jury she had to treat sex buyers like 'my personal god'

Five are standing trial in St. Paul in sprawling international sex trafficking case.
Macrina Perez

'CEO' of Mexico-Minnesota meth pipeline says she was just a cog

Macrina Perez, 25, argued she followed her boyfriend's lead before leaving drug dealing behind. Prosecutors have said she was deeply connected to Mexican cartels.
DFL gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz was congratulated by supporters on election night as he headed to delivery his victory speech.

Minnesota business community reckons with GOP losses, empowered Democrats in St. Paul

Initiatives opposed by many in business community are within reach for state DFLers.

Feds charge former Hennepin County employee, husband with defrauding public assistance programs

Couple charged with conspiracy, multiple fraud counts after failing to disclose relationship in filing for benefits.
U.S. Rep.-electIlhan Omar, flanked by family, delivered her victory speech on Election Day.

Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar's statements on Israel return to spotlight

Local Jewish leaders say recent remarks contradict comments before election.
Law enforcement officials investigated an explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington on Aug. 5, 2017.

Minnesota reports rise in hate crimes, too

Reports in the state during 2017 increased more than 22 percent, rising from 119 in 2016 to 146.

NHL, retired players reach $19M concussion settlement in case overseen by Minnesota federal judge

Retired players with head injuries would share $19M.
U.S. Senate candidate Karin Housley gave her concession speech Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Bloomington, Minn. Housley and other statewide GOP candidates

Republicans puzzle over how to break Minn. losing streak

Central to the state GOP's effort will be fielding candidates who can appeal to both its rural base while winning back the suburban voters who propelled DFL gains in this week's midterm election.
Rep. Keith Ellison addressed supporters after winning the attorney general race Tuesday night at the DFL headquarters election night party at the Inte

Ellison outlines transition for attorney general's office, hires chief of staff

Congressman's chief of staff to assume the same role at State Capitol.
Ilhan Omar poses for a selfies with supporters after her victory Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Minneapolis. Omar is poised to become the first Somali-Amer

Midterm election full of firsts for Minnesota

First former refugee sent to Congress. First openly gay U.S. House member from Minnesota. First Muslim elected to a statewide office in Minnesota. First American Indian elected lieutenant governor nationwide. Minnesota voters ushered in a wave of firsts Tuesday.
Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison shook a supporters hand after giving his acceptance speech at the DFL headquarters election party Tuesday night.

Ellison elected Minnesota attorney general after hotly contested race with Wardlow

DFLers Steve Simon, Julie Blaha complete sweep of state offices
FILE - This combination of file photos shows the candidates for Minnesota attorney general in the November 2018 election from left, Democratic U.S. Re

Minn. attorney general race gets cameos from prominent DFLers, Pence

Doug Wardlow greeted Vice President Mike Pence at the Twin Cities airport Saturday as Keith Ellison and his supporters made their final pitch at the Capitol in St. Paul.
Keith Ellison and former Vice President Walter Mondale talked with former Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III and former Supreme Court Just

Minn. attorney general race ramps up via attacks, proxies

Doug Wardlow has largely left fight up to surrogates this week, while Keith Ellison assembled former Democratic attorneys general to make his case.
FILE - This combination of file photos shows the candidates for Minnesota attorney general from left, Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and Republica

Wardlow rips Ellison for past links; Ellison hits Wardlow on guns

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison hit his Republican opponent for attorney general, Doug Wardlow, on Wednesday for shifting his stance on background checks for gun sales, and Wardlow lobbed a new ad digging into Ellison's past links to controversial figures.
Ilhan Omar was interviewed at the Twin Cities Film Fest at the West End theater in St. Louis Park before the screening of "A Time for Ilhan," a film b

On the edge of making history, Ilhan Omar confronts fresh scrutiny

As she campaigns for U.S. House, Omar is defending herself against a handful of recurrent controversies, including her marriage and immigration history.
The president has called illegal immigration a “national emergency” and is planning to send active-duty troops to the Mexican border, officials sa

Poll: Minnesotans object to Trump immigration policies, split on refugees

Support among Minnesotans for Trump's immigration policies hewed closely along party lines.
DFL state Rep. Ilhan Omar and Republican Jen Zielinski met in their only debate of the campaign for the Fifth District U.S. House seat with Minnesota

Ilhan Omar, Jennifer Zielinski clash in lone debate for Fifth District

President Trump, health care were among the issues the two discussed.
FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2017, file photo, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a candidate for Minnesota attorney general, addresses campaign volunteers and suppo

Keith Ellison divorce file shows no abuse allegation against him

The DFL candidate for attorney general and ex-wife opposed effort to unseal divorce records.
Angel and Carl Larsen, owners and founders of Telescope Media Group, stand in front of family and friends outside the Federal Courthouse in Saint Paul

St. Cloud couple's bid to deny wedding videography to gay couples is argued before appeals court

Telescope Media case seen as a potential U.S. Supreme Court challenge.
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