Sheriff Fletcher rebuked for ‘disrespectful, racist’ letter by county commissioners

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher was sent a letter Friday rebuking recent actions of his as unprofessional, disrespectful and racist.

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners sent the letter to Fletcher on Friday, "calling out his repeated disrespect and exclusionary practices."

According to the letter by commissioners, Fletcher recently sent a letter to select commissioners, while excluding members Rena Moran, Rafael Ortega and Mai Chong Xiong, as recipients.

"For four years, crime has been rising and our residents have been living in an elevated state of fear," Fletcher said in his statement to commissioners. "And for four years, the County Board has publicly ignored this issue and failed to act. In fact, you have De-funded Law Enforcement. Responding to citizens’ concerns about crime, at times, requires resources. This is one of those times."

The letter cites numerous recent criminal events, as well as, budget concerns Fletcher has for his department.

In response to Fletcher, the letter, signed by all seven commissioners, described the communication sent by Fletcher as, "unapologetic, fear mongering and factually inaccurate," while also taking issue with the decision to omit the three commissioners.

"To state the obvious, the commissioners you addressed your letter to identify as white, and the commissioners whom you left out identify as Black, Latino and Hmong. This is not a small omission on multiple levels," the letter alleges. "This act to exclude a subset of commissioners is a serious breach of protocol on its own terms. However, when one evaluates who you addressed and who you omitted, the issue becomes far more serious and concerning."

According to commissioners, Fletcher’s letter was apparently in response to budgetary discussions and corresponding actions the board took earlier in the day, "to address your office’s repeated and unauthorized overspending," according to their letter.

The letter from commissioners alleges that rather than attending the meeting, Fletcher chose to send out the correspondence instead.

"Your record of not respecting nor engaging with Ramsey County’s leaders of color, and all leaders for that matter, goes well beyond the release of your recent letter. This is just the moment where we have chosen to publicly point out your repeated behavior that harms our work as an organization," it said.

Among the critique, the letter notes frequent monetary mismanagement at the hands of Fletcher’s office, saying, "You have yet to express any remorse or regret regarding your frequent overspending that has cost taxpayers millions… We challenge you to redirect the energy and resources you put into your sensationalized social media efforts into bringing our entire community together to develop real solutions across systems that create prosperous and safe communities for everyone."

Fletcher is well known for his social media escapades and live streams, including his Live on Patrol YouTube series.

The Board also held a Zoom meeting Friday to discuss his actions.

Ramsey County is the most diverse community in Minnesota with the most diverse county board, according to a statement by commissioners.