Charges of criminal vehicular homicide will not affect the tenure of Blue Earth County Commissioner Bob Roberts, as prescribed by Minnesota law.

If, however, he is found guilty, Roberts will be removed and a special election will be held between 30 and 60 days after the vacancy. According to Minnesota statutes, an incumbent can be removed after conviction of an “infamous crime.”

“Until a vacancy occurs, it’s business as usual,” County Administrator Dennis McCoy said.

He said the County Board can neither compel a resignation of nor officially sanction a commissioner.

“He’s innocent until proven guilty,” McCoy said.

Commissioner Tom McLaughlin agreed.

“It happened on personal time,” McLaughlin said. “It’s entirely up to Roberts what he’d like to do.”

Roberts was charged Oct. 21 with four counts of criminal vehicular homicide after police say he hit a semi, causing it to roll over in a ditch. The semi driver, 46-year-old Alan Lee Soderholm of Lakefield, died at the scene of the Sept. 27 accident northeast of Lake Crystal.

According to the criminal complaint, Roberts had a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent, which is above the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle. On Aug. 1, Minnesota became the last state in the country to lower the legal limit to .08 percent.

Roberts is up for election in November of next year and the winner of that election takes office early in January 2007.

He took office after a Sept. 14 special election held last year after Al Bennett resigned.

Roberts offered his “deepest sympathies” to Soderholm’s family.

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