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Cook County board votes to oust County Attorney after sex conviction

GRAND MARAIS - The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to remove County Attorney Tim Scannell from office, six days after his conviction on two felony sex crimes.

The five-member board made the decision at a special meeting. The vote came after discussion with St. Cloud-based attorney Dyan Ebert, who was hired by the county to advise the board on the Scannell matter.

Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken was appointed as Scannell’s successor.

While Cook County does not have specific rules for removing an elected official, Ebert advised board members that case law and precedent support Scannell’s removal by the commissioners.

Scannell’s term was set to expire at year’s end, and he is not seeking re-election. He was not at the meeting.

A St. Louis County jury convicted Scannell on July 25 of two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The jury determined that he was in a position of authority over a 17-year-old girl in the summer of 2012 when he kissed her and touched her breasts.

Scannell admitted he was in a relationship with the girl but said their contact was limited to kissing.

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