Cook County prosecutor ordered to stay away from teen
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota prosecutor who entered the public eye after he was wounded in a courthouse shooting a year ago has been accused of an improper relationship with a teenage girl.
Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell was ordered by a judge Tuesday to stay away from the girl, now 17, and her parents after the parents sought a restraining order.
In their petition, the parents described Scannell, 46, as a longtime family friend who told them in September that he had fallen in love with the girl. They said he promised to stop communicating with her, but continued to text and call her and send mail and packages.
Scannell was out of the office Thursday, and didn't respond to a phone message or an email seeking comment. His home phone listing rang unanswered.
His attorney, Joe Tamburino, said in a statement that Scannell intends to stay in his job "and trusts that this matter will resolve quickly."
"Mr. Scannell deeply regrets the pain and heartache that this situation has caused the family in question," the statement said. "However, Mr. Scannell has not committed any crime or any act of harassment." The statement also said "no sexual conduct" occurred between the prosecutor and the teen.
In the parents' petition for the restraining order, they wrote that Scannell told them the pair's relationship "became physical over the summer, with 'kissing and touching, but nothing illegal.'"
Scannell became a public figure after he was wounded in a courthouse shooting in Grand Marais in December 2011 by a man he had successfully prosecuted. He went on to testify before state lawmakers in support of a bill to allow county attorneys and assistant attorneys to carry guns on duty if they have a valid permit. The bill passed and was signed into law last spring.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.