A member of an anarchist group that organized protests during the Republican National Convention in September has sued Ramsey County, alleging that Sheriff Bob Fletcher failed to provide "all private and public data" that his office had on the activist. The suit asks for the data and damages in excess of $75,000.
Betsy Raasch-Gilman, 56, a member of the RNC Welcoming Committee who calls herself an "anarchist peace activist," said that on Sept. 1, after locking up a building in St. Paul where anarchists were organizing protests, she encountered Fletcher, who told her his office had an "extensive file" on her.
The suit says that despite her requests for the file, Fletcher did not provide it, so she appealed to the state Department of Administration. It issued an advisory opinion that the sheriff's office had not complied with state statutes. The suit was filed by attorneys Ted Dooley and Peter Nickitas.
Fletcher said, "we do have information regarding Betsy Raasch-Gilman because she was an active member of the RNC Welcoming Committee." But, "all of that information is part of an ongoing investigation of the Welcoming Committee and therefore it is confidential under Minnesota data practices law."
Fletcher said that his office informed Dooley of the investigation and also sent a letter to the Department of Administration, but the department told him it never received it.