ST PETER —
“We just had to determine probable cause for charging,” she said. “Intent not to violate the law is for the court process, not the charging process.”
Around the same time as the charge against Schneider was reported, the Minnesota County Attorneys Association was asking legislatures to change 201.275 to give prosecutors the same discretion they have in criminal cases.
The Minnesota Majority put out a news release where its president, Dan McGrath, suggested Fischer was using Schneider as a “pawn.” McGrath said Fischer wasn’t forced to charge Schneider because there was no intent.
“It may be that the county attorney is prosecuting Margaret Schneider in order to garner sympathy for her while inaccurately claiming the law that the County Attorneys Association happens to be lobbying to change compels her,” McGrath said in the release. “It smacks of cold political calculation.”
The process of charging Schneider started long before the charge was initially reported by The Free Press, Fischer said.
There have been other attempts to change the law, but Fischer said she wasn’t aware of the latest lobbying effort when Schneider’s situation came to her attention.
Fischer also said she was surprised by the amount of state and national media attention the case received.