Carver County cuts ties with Scream Town after owner's discriminatory post

- Carver County is cutting ties with Scream Town after the business’s owner told employees to have a “zero tolerance policy with Somalis.”

Scream Town, a popular Halloween attraction in Chaska, faced backlash last week after Owner Matt Dunn wrote a private Facebook post to his employees singling out Somali guests.

His post said, “We are having a zero tolerance policy with Somalis. (other guests, you make your best judgement call), but absolutely zero tolerance with Somalis.”

Thursday, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office announced the termination of the Sheriff’s Office contract with Scream Town. Before, the business contracted with the Sheriff’s Office for grounds patrol, general security, crowd control and law enforcement. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office managed traffic on Hwy. 212 for Scream Town as well.

Scream Town has a Conditional Use Permit for its six-week run this year, but without the security services of the county, the business will be in violation of the permit.

The county issued an immediate stop work order for Scream Town.

The Sheriff’s Office said Dunn’s comments violated the contract as well as County, State and Federal Laws.

“Having discriminatory policies and practices does not conform to County ordinances and State and Federal regulations,” said a release from Carver County.

“We hold equal treatment of all people among our highest principles,” County Administrator David Hemze said Thursday. “Mr. Dunn’s comments discriminated against one group based on their national origin. There is no ambiguity to Mr. Dunn’s comments. Mr. Dunn encouraged his employees to racially profile a targeted group and his comments are completely unacceptable. They do not comply with County policy, and they breached our contract with him.”

“Carver County unequivocally does not allow anyone in its organization to discriminate based on national origin or race and we most certainly will not contract with any business that discriminates or has discriminatory policies,” County Board chair Gayle Degler said.

Here is the Facebook post made by Dunn:

Important! The following sign has been added to the ticket booth. In addition, other signs are being added to encourage guests to call in and report any guest issues while waiting in line. Note that we are having a zero tolerance policy with Somalis. (Other guests, you make your best judgement call) But absolutely zero tolerance with Somalis. Your diligence in this matter is crucial. Call me directly if you feel that is the fastest way of communication. XXX-XXX-XXXX (number redacted) If they violate ANY of the following, they need to be followed, reported, and stayed with until Scream Town staff/ security arrives. "WARNING - Scream Town is a no tolerance event. You will be removed without a refund for pushing, cutting in line, running, foul language, disorderly conduct, intoxication, drug use, touching actors, kicking walls, vandalism, touching props, entering the wrong waiting line, false tickets, improper hand stamps, attempting to use a ticket twice, and threats. Scream Town reserves the right to refuse service to anyone.

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