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Letters to the Editor

Hohensee asks for your vote

To the editor:

I am Jeff Hohensee and I am running for Brown County Sheriff. I would like to thank my family and dedicated volunteers for all their patience, understanding, and hard work. I am grateful and humbled for the many members of our communities who have publicly supported me.

I make this promise to you if elected Brown County sheriff. I will work tirelessly to be the best law enforcement representative I can be for the people of Brown County.

Your voice will be heard and we will get back to the community-policing role I believe law enforcement should embrace. In law enforcement we work for the citizens first.

I have said a number of times I will remain “Fiscally responsible while maintaining the highest level of public safety so each and every one of you feels safe in your homes and communities.”

There have been a number of endorsements given both ways in this race. I have never asked a police officer/deputy for their endorsement as I have learned from past experiences that it puts officers in uncomfortable circumstances.

The main difference between my opponent and I is our level of experience. I have worked my way through the ranks of our police department for 27 years. My opponent has worked 12 years in a civilian position at the jail and 12 years in administration. Our sheriff needs a well-rounded background experience of having worked all the different jobs like answering radio calls, child protection, elderly abuse and scams, and narcotics. Voters recognized the value of my diverse experiences.

Many people have called and agree with my deep concern about the new allocation of staff my opponent references in the Oct. 30 Voter’s Guide provided by The Journal. My opponent states the addition of one to two new part-time dispatchers, one full time deputy, and two full-time correctional officers are needed for “Optimal” staffing of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department.

It is likely the total costs of the additional personnel along with the proposed K9 and drone, could exceed $400,000. This would be approximately a 10 percent increase of the proposed 2019 budget. It is my plan to restructure the staffing to be more efficient and utilize cost sharing. This will demonstrate my commitment to being fiscally responsible.

I ask that you vote for a change in leadership at the Brown County Sheriff’s Department and I appreciate your support at the polls on Nov. 6.

Jeff Hohensee

New Ulm

Hohensee shows fiscal responsibility

To the editor:

I want to thank the League of Women Voters for providing candidate forums. They assist the election process by informing voters about the differences between political candidates. The forum held on Oct. 24 at the New Ulm library showed the difference in fiscal responsibility between the candidates for sheriff.

Jason Seidl spoke of adding a police dog at a cost of $18,000. Jeff Hohensee said the cost would be about $60,000 based on New Ulm Police Department’s experience when they started their canine unit.

Mr. Hohensee pointed out that the sheriff’s department had used New Ulm PD’s canine several times over the last three years and the total cost to the county was about $425. Jeff Hohensee’s position to continue using New Ulm PD’s dog would be a big financial saving for county taxpayers.

Both candidates expressed support for purchasing a drone. Jeff Hohensee spoke of sharing the use and cost of a drone with other communities. On the same day of the forum, The Journal reported that Brown County Commissioners rejected a $24,000 proposal by Sheriff Hoffmann and Deputy Seidl to purchase a drone. They reduced the purchase amount to $12,000. The Brown County Board of Commissioners should be commended for their wise use of taxpayer’s money.

The Voter’s Guide supplement in The Journal on Oct. 30 was a good source of information also. Both candidates were asked about future staffing at the sheriff’s office. Jeff Hohensee said the staffing was adequate but could be used more efficiently. Jason Seidl spoke of adding several positions to the sheriff’s department.

Brown County has been declining in population for 30 years. The increased taxes used to fund the new positions will be an added burden for average wage earners in Brown County.

Jeff Hohensee will be fiscally responsible because he’s in tune with Brown County Commissioners and the citizens of this county. He said he could provide better services without big budget increases. Let’s give him a chance to show us.

Mr. Hohensee has my vote!

Jo Jensen

Sleepy Eye

Disagree with endorsements

To the editor:

We are writing to express our frustration with the reasoning behind some of the recent Journal editorial board endorsements.

A number of recent endorsements state that the challengers are worthy of the office and are equally qualified for the position. However, in their reasoning, The Journal editorial board gives the opinion that the incumbent should be elected because they’ve done the job before. This is not in itself an adequate reason to vote for someone.

A fresh voice may be exactly what is called for. All candidates should be judged based on their policy positions, their qualifications, and past performance. Voting based merely on tenure is not a responsible way to vote.

We ask that voters be informed, research the issues, and vote for the candidate that best represents their values.

Heather Bregel, Katie Dorschner, Wendi Ringhofer, Alma Marin, Barb Hillesheim, Carolyn Borgen, Laura Sievert, Preston Meyer,

Kellie Newman, Judi Nelson, Mary Kluge, Sasha Seifert, Sara Fliflet, Peggy Sundell, Megan Benage

Christensen supports Hohensee for sheriff

To the editor:

My name is Bob Christensen and I grew up in rural Sleepy Eye. I was employed by Brown County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) from 1991-2007. I held the positions of patrol deputy, investigator and chief deputy under Sheriff Tim Brennan. During that time, I also worked with Jeff Hohensee and Jason Seidl.

A lot of people have asked me which candidate for sheriff I feel is most qualified. My response has been a persistent “Jeff Hohensee.” Jeff has legitimate law enforcement experience, proven leadership skills and the good judgment necessary to operate an outstanding department without breaking the budget.

Practical law enforcement experience is vital for the sheriff’s position, especially when overseeing major events such as natural disasters, homicides, drownings, lost children and other search and recovery efforts. These types of events occur in every community at some point. If they’re not supervised properly the result is unnecessary equipment costs, excessive overtime expenses and prolonged emotional suffering by those affected by the event.

I’ve also been asked if prior 911-dispatch or jail experience is important for the sheriff’s position. My response has been “absolutely not.” BCSO employs a jail administrator and a head dispatcher like most Minnesota sheriffs’ offices. The jail administrator supervises the operation of the jail and prepares the jail budget. The head dispatcher oversees the 911-dispatch center. Oversight of the jail administrator and head dispatch positions is quickly and easily learned with a little common sense.

I am impressed but not surprised by the diversity of letters written in support of Jeff Hohensee. Crime victims, attorneys, prior offenders and many others are authors of the letters. It’s a rare occasion when county prosecutors and prior offenders share the same favorable opinion of one particular police officer. Those letters speak volumes for Jeff’s skills, work ethic and most importantly, his character.

I recently retired from a 35-year career in law enforcement. I’ve worked with hundreds of law enforcement officers in local, state and federal jurisdictions. None of them have been a better team player or worked harder than Jeff Hohensee.

Please join me in voting for Jeff Hohensee for Brown County Sheriff on November 6th.

Robert L. Christensen

New Ulm

Hohensee led DTF to fiscal stability

My name is Kristi Hose. I worked for the New Ulm Police Department for 13 years and served as the Administrative Assistant for the Brown-Lyon-Redwood-Renville Drug Task Force (DTF) under both Commander Jeff Hohensee and Commander Jodi Gladis. Statements made about Hohensee regarding the Drug Task Force are inaccurate and misleading.

In 2008, the year before Jeff was Commander, the DTF was in the hole $74,000. In 2010, the Brown County Sheriff’s office failed to submit their allocated dues to the DTF, which was followed by Lyon County doing the same. This irresponsible choice is what caused a shortage of funding during Jeff’s term as Drug Task Force Commander. When Jeff was Commander, we applied and reeived a $275,000 two-year grant to temporarily stabilize the DTF. During that period, Jeff then looked for alternative methods to further support the DTF. Our team developed a per capita funding for each county/city involved. The per capita funding went into effect after the $275,000 grant was completed and has continued to financially stabilize the DTF today.

During this time, Jeff also led task force agents in a high number of successful felony drug investigations and arrests. Hohensee held weekly staff meetings with the agents to set short-term and long-term goals, ensured all necessary paperwork was completed and actively worked with the agents to achieve their goals. Under Commander Hohensee, we received high ratings on our Report Cards from the State after each audit which demonstrates responsibility and his ability to lead a successful team. Ultimately, Jeff was needed to fill a staffing shortage within the New Ulm Police Department and that is why he left the DTF. Since Jeff’s departure from the DTF, I’ll just state that felony drug investigations have decreased significantly. I think we can all agree the drug problem in Brown County needs to be addressed.

I also worked with Hohensee, active Senior Investigator with the New Ulm PD. Jeff’s knowledge, experience, leadership and passion for his job sets him apart from many others. I believe strongly that because Jeff has worked his way through the ranks is what has given him the vast experience and qualifications to be the next Brown County Sheriff. Administrative tasks can be learned, as is the case with any newly elected Sheriff (in any county). We need a Sheriff with real law enforcement knowledge and experience to be a leader and mentor.

I encourage you to vote for Jeff Hohensee for Brown County Sheriff.

Kristi Hose

New Ulm

Hohensee has experience in battle against drugs

To the editor:

Our country is suffering a serious drug abuse epidemic. Over 64,000 Americans lost their lives to drug poisonings in 2016 and last year that number increased to 72,000. During 2017 alone, 55,000 Minnesotans were treated for substance abuse, and opioids and heroin were responsible for about 11,000 hospital admissions and over 400 deaths, statewide. Combined with that, the increasing availability of methamphetamine, cocaine, domestically produced marijuana and prescription drugs has created the most serious threat we face to our nation’s public health and safety.

The responsibility for protecting Minnesotans from drug crime is law enforcement’s job. While serving as Minnesota’s Statewide Gang and Drug Coordinator from 2006 to 2012, I and DPS staff worked with Minnesota’s task forces to secure the funding, resources and support they needed to protect their communities from the devastating effects of drug trafficking and violent crime. We worked with them to develop successful enforcement strategies and we conducted regular evaluations to measure their performance and compliance with policies and best practices. Your Drug Task Force, while under the direction of Jeff Hohensee, received good performance and compliance ratings.

Additionally, Jeff Hohensee applied for and received a sizeable, supplemental federal grant that enabled the Drug Task Force to hire extra personnel and fund additional resources, increasing their ability to protect local communities from drug trafficking and crime. That was a notable accomplishment.

Investigating drug crime differs from the reactive work that most law enforcement officers regularly do. Task force efforts are proactive, working to prevent people from becoming victims of crime. In addition to the basic training law enforcement officers must possess, successfully managing and performing proactive policing requires more experience, extra training and skills, tenacity and the ability to develop effective working partnerships. And, some creative and innovative thinking is needed to protect our citizens and their families from the sophisticated methods that drug dealers use to peddle the poison that is contributing to the suffering of so many of our friends and neighbors. Jeff Hohensee, candidate for Brown County Sheriff, has proven that he has the knowledge, experience and ability to do that.

Bob Bushman


Support for Hohensee

To the editor:

I am writing this letter in support of Jeff Hohensee for Brown County Sheriff. I have had the opportunity to work with both candidates throughout my 18-year law enforcement career and Jeff Hohensee is the clear choice as the next Brown County Sheriff.

Jeff started out his career patrol and worked his way up to the rank of Senior Investigator. During that time Jeff was able to build relationships with other law enforcement officers throughout the region. By building the relationships, he has been able collaborate with other agencies to solve crimes while sharing resources and information. Jeff has proven his leadership ability with the work he has done with the Human and Sex Trafficking investigations conducted throughout southern Minnesota.

I also worked with Jeff when he was the commander of the Brown, Lyon and Redwood Drug Task Force. I was a narcotics agent with a neighboring agency and our task forces worked many investigations together, as criminals don’t care about jurisdictional lines. It is imperative to have these types of relationships in place. They allow us to share information with each other in order to keep communities safe.

I’ve known Jeff for 27 years. Sometimes he hasn’t been the most popular person as a law enforcement officer because he had to conduct a very difficult investigation or arrest a high-ranking community member. But Jeff has always done his job knowing he had a job to do while keeping his community safe and working for the victim of the crime. Jeff has shown throughout his career that he is a true leader by working his way up through the ranks of the police department. Jeff has never been handed any position. He had to work to obtain any promotion he received. It shows he is a true leader and will work for the citizens of Brown County.

So, as you go to the polls this November 6, please remember to vote for Jeff Hohensee. Jeff is the only candidate with true law enforcement experience with the ability to carry out the Office of Brown County Sheriff.

Jeremy Brennan


Supports Hohensee

To the editor:

I am sending this letter in support of Police Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee for the office of Sheriff of Brown County. My only personal involvement with the New Ulm Police Department occurred some 17 years ago when valuable jewelry was stolen from my elderly invalided mother, then living at 627 Summit Avenue. Jeff was one of the investigators. The theft remained unsolved for almost three years and my mother died in the interim, never learning of the theft.

One day, on one of my family’s visits to New Ulm, Jeff appeared in full uniform at the door of my mother’s home. Through the use of new technology, he told us that he had found the thief and obtained a confession to the crime. The jewels had passed through several hands by that time, but Jeff had located where the jewels had been sold and, in one case, who had purchased a singularly valuable and sentimental item. Through Jeff’s wise counsel, we were able to financially satisfy the pawn broker, the owner of the item and the insurance company, and the item was then returned to the family which now carries with it an interesting history.

I am sure that all the candidates for Brown County Sheriff are highly capable and deserving of support. But my family’s personal experience with Jeff Hohensee and his dogged determination to solve a significant theft, suggests to me that the citizens of Brown County will be well-served if Jeff Hohensee is elected Brown County’s next Sheriff.

Bob Dempsey

New Ulm

Investigator encourages support for Hohensee

I have authored this letter to voice my support of Jeff Hohensee for Brown County Sheriff.

It has been a privilege to have known and worked with Jeff for the past 17 years. He and I have collaborated on numerous narcotics investigations while I worked with a neighboring drug task force and Jeff was with the Brown, Redwood and Lyon Drug Task Force (BLR DTF).

In many of those investigations, Jeff was the supervising agent and I worked in an undercover capacity. I always had complete trust in Jeff’s ability to conduct them safely and efficiently or I would not have participated.

Jeff was a driving force in the further development of the BLR DTF. He consistently advocated for its expansion by obtaining grant funding, thereby benefiting the citizens of Brown County. I have no doubt Jeff’s commitment and initiative as the commander of the BLR DTF made it the exemplary model that other task forces strived to achieve.

I could speak for hours on his level of professionalism and integrity as a law enforcement officer because I witnessed it during the many narcotics investigations we conducted together. He was and is a great cop.

Honestly, the most important thing about Jeff is that he is a genuinely nice guy who cares about the citizens he serves and is compassionate to their concerns. All of his experience is just icing on the cake.

Vote Experience! Vote Jeff Hohensee for Brown County Sheriff

Investigator Ginger Peterson

St. James

Zins supports Hohensee

To the editor:

I fully support Jeff Hohensee for Sheriff of Brown County. I was working the day Jeff started and he hit the road running and has never slowed down. His record of achievements are very impressive. We’ve all heard the saying; “experience is the best teacher.”Jeff has that experience as he spent his career where the “rubber meets the road.” Leaders lead by example and Jeff will instill that same passion for excellence in his Deputies and will expect no less. When you report a crime you expect it to be investigated, not just filed. Vote with me for change as there will be a “New Sheriff in Town.” Jeff Hohensee has got my vote!

Howard A. Zins

Retired Chief of Police

New Ulm Police Department

Support for Hohensee

To the editor:

My name is Barry Gulden and I grew up in New Ulm. I work for a sheriffs department that connects to Brown County. I have been watching the Brown County Sheriffs Department race closely.

What I have noticed is the compelling and diverse letters that have been submitted to support Jeff Hohensee. There are letters from crime victims, drug court participants, juvenile court participants and obviously law enforcement both working and retired.

We in law enforcement build up networks of trusted officers that we work with over the years from other agencies and departments. This is how I became acquainted with Jeff Hohensee. I was performing a traffic stop and there was drug activity suspected. I was able to call to the New Ulm Police Department and they connected me to Jeff. I provided the limited information I had obtained and in speaking with Jeff he provided me a detailed synopsis of my suspect, his acquaintances and his past and suspected criminal history. This started a professional relationship and we have shared numerous cases and information over the years.

1 know that Jeff has fostered these types of relationships with other deputies, officers and investigators all over southern Minnesota. It will be these contacts that separate Jeff from the other candidate. Jeff will use these professional contacts to save the taxpayers of Brown County money.

Jeff has built a tremendous support base that he can call upon for any assistance or questions. Jeff has a tremendous work ethic and portrays professionalism in all types of investigations. I have been to a number of trainings with Jeff and notice that he is continually talking with other officers and deputies always maintaining and creating new contacts.

lt is for these reasons that I ask you to vote for Jeff Hohensee on the November 6th ballot for Brown County Sheriff.

Barry Gulden


Ibberson endorses Hohensee

To the editor:

I am Matt Ibberson. I have 11 years of law enforcement experience: Deputy Sheriff of Brown County,  Sleepy Eye and Brownton Police Departments.  I filed for Brown County Sheriff but did not advance in the primary election.  I ran a common sense campaign and have no regrets.

Let me start by saying, there are problems in the Brown County Sheriff’s office causing four of us to run for the position.

I have first-hand experience working with both candidates.  There is no question Jeff Hohensee should be the next Brown County Sheriff.  Often I have come to Jeff with questions on sex and drug cases, child protection investigations, and search warrants.  Jeff has the answers based on his past proven experiences.

Jason Seidl worked for 12 years at the Brown County Jail, a civilian position where you do not have to have a police officer’s license. He then has worked 12 years in the administration for the Brown County Sheriff’s Department.  What Seidl is missing is full time working experience of a deputy sheriff or a full time police officer.

Seidl lists the Vasquez murder investigation as one of his accomplishments.  On the night of the incident, Mr. Vasquez was brought in for questioning.  Vasquez had killed and dismembered his girlfriend and mother of his two children.  Vasquez was clearly our main suspect but due to lack of probable cause Vasquez was released.  I was fine with this until Chief Deputy Seidl released the two children to Vasquez.  Without question, the two children should have been placed with Brown County Child Protection.  This decision shows Chief Deputy Seidl’s lack of police experience and general police knowledge.

I personally know of two cases when Jason Seidl stopped a motorist for a traffic offense.  He determined the driver to be intoxicated but had to call another officer to process the intoxicated driver.  This is because Jason Seidl doesn’t know how to process an impaired driver for DUI.

Citizens of Brown County, I don’t think we can elect Jason Seidl as sheriff. How can we in good faith have a sheriff, who has never done the job full time, supervise the deputies.  We owe it to the wives, husbands, and children of all staff to elect a leader who has this first-hand experience.   Jeff is a true leader with a proven record and experience.  For these reasons please join me in voting for Jeff Hohensee for Brown County Sheriff.

Police union supports Hohensee for Sheriff

To the editor:

LELS Local #150, comprised of New Ulm Police Department officers, are proud to announce our endorsement of Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee for the candidacy of Brown County Sheriff.

A forum was held for both candidates on Sept. 13, . In the forum both candidates, Chief Deputy Jason Seidl and Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee, addressed our union for a set amount of time and with a list of prepared questions. With a majority of our union favoring Jeff Hohensee, it is clear we believe he is the best candidate to serve the law enforcement needs of Brown County and its residents.

This endorsement is important to us and one that was not taken lightly. We are pleased to support our Senior Investigator, Jeff Hohensee, as this election moves forward. We would like to take this opportunity to not only publicly support Jeff Hohensee, but also to congratulate him on securing our trust and endorsement. Thank you for your continued support.

Officer Andrew Achman

Union Steward,

(On behalf of LELS Local #150)

Hanson supports Hohensee

To the editor:

For the past four years I have had the opportunity to work with Jeff Hohensee, the Senior Investigator for the New Ulm Police Department and candidate for Brown County Sheriff. Before my current position, I was also able to work with Jeff when I was in private practice and then as an Assistant County Attorney in Watonwan County. Without any reservations I can say that Jeff is one of the most professional officers with whom I have worked. His dedication to his job is outstanding and he works tirelessly on each and every one of his cases. I can always count on Jeff to take ownership of any investigation he conducts and give everything he has, from the first report, up to trial and even post trial if necessary. When I see Jeff’s name on a file, I know that my job is going to be that much easier, as his experience and dedication assure me that there are going to be no loose ends or surprises down the road. That kind of peace of mind is something that every prosecutor hopes for on all of his or her files.

In addition to his tireless pursuit of justice, I have also seen the “human” side of investigations that most people don’t see. I have been in interview rooms with Jeff when we have had to console the victims of crimes and assure them that we are going to do everything in our power to help them. To have victims whose lives have been turned upside down and are looking to us to give them some explanation of why this happened and assurance that the system is going to make it better. I’ve also been there in those situations when we have to sometimes explain to victims that our justice system has significant shortcomings and why prosecution is not possible in their case. In those situations I can also count on Jeff to join me in explaining the process, answering any questions, and even just being another shoulder for a victim to cry on. Jeff has always been extremely professional and empathetic with victims of crimes. His help with some of our most vulnerable victims, small children, as we work through their traumatic experiences is something I have come to rely upon. It’s that kind of hands-on experience that assures me Jeff would make an excellent Sheriff.

Another quality that I appreciate is that I can always count on Jeff to do the right thing. He has the courage of his convictions and isn’t afraid to stand up for what’s right, even if it might not be the popular answer, or the politically correct response, or the easiest way to avoid controversy. I know that when I discuss files with Jeff he is going to give me his honest assessment and not just tell me what he thinks I want to hear. As a prosecutor, that is refreshing. It helps me assess cases and approach them with an open mind and ultimately the pursuit of justice. It has been my privilege to work with Jeff Hohensee for the past four years.

For all of these reasons and more, I believe Jeff Hohensee would make an exceptional Sheriff for Brown County.

Chuck Hanson

Brown County Attorney

Hohensee kept giving another chance

To the editor:

When I first met Jeff Hohensee I was around 15 and in juvenile drug court due to my truancies and continuous failed drug tests. At that point I was extremely rebellious and didn’t have much respect for anybody on the drug court team or their rules and advice. I had a long and tough road during that program until I was 18 and thought I found a easy way out of everything, jail. I thought all along I didn’t need anyone’s guidance in any way and it only got worse as I hit legal adulthood.

Jeff and I got to meet face to face again in 2011 when my poor choices yet again got brought to the surface… I received my first felony drug charge and got a DWI somewhere around the same time. Once again at that time Jeff tried talking to me… tried giving me another chance to take my life back because he seen a better side of me than I was able to see at that time but I had it all figured out and didn’t take into consideration a single word he’d said so I went on my way to a what was about to be a long five years of probation. ‘No big deal,’ though, right? I knew it all and had all the answers myself.

Needless to say all my answers didn’t get me very far… just a long road of jail, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment and soon after, prison. My sobriety from there only went as far as my parole (4 months). Three years has passed since all that and since then I managed to get my life into a mess once again, this time probably the worst yet.

I’ve come to realize after spending many nights pondering everything Jeff tried doing for me or every time he’d tried having any kind of real talk with me throughout my active addiction that maybe everything he was saying had made sense, maybe he really was trying to help and it was my stubborn self who rejected every bit of it. Maybe my life would have been different had I just listened once.

Today I can proudly say I’m a week away from being 9-months sober and Jeff as a person along with his campaign has made me really sit and think about the changes I want to make in my life. I’m comfortable talking with him about anything because I know he’s not the bad guy. He really wants to see me succeed. I have never really been proud to represent anything but I was proud to represent his campaign in running for sheriff and I’m a proud supporter of him.

Tiffany Bobo


Crime victim endorses Hohensee

To the editor:

I never expected to receive the kind of support I was given. Officer Hohensee went above and beyond my expectations, and he was with me until the very end. It is not until something bad happens that you realize how much you appreciate having this kind of support from your local law enforcement. But you could tell this wasn’t just a job for him, he truly cared. I was given a number to reach him in case I had any questions, — which I had a lot! — and he did his best to answer them, If he couldn’t answer them, he found someone who could. Or if I just needed to cry and talk, he understood. He was very knowledgeable and helped me find some wonderful resources.

Everyone wants to make a difference, and help make the world a better place. This is how Jeff makes a difference here in our community. I will forever be grateful Jeff was sent to me that day, and for all of the time, effort, kindness, and support. Thank you so much for all you do Officer Hohensee, our community is so lucky to have you! Vote for Jeff!

Kelly Wendler

New Ulm

Hohensee leads and inspires from experience

To the editor:

A county sheriff’s duty is mostly administrative. From the office, the sheriff oversees the jail and dispatch center. In addition, the sheriff processes and carries out warrants and oversees investigations. Any county sheriff administrator inspires confidence, gains respect, and earns trust from deputies by previous experiences. County deputies have an intimate relationship with the sheriff knowing he/she has carried out similar tasks.

Jeff Hohensee can claim he will be a superior county sheriff by his long list of experiences. In his tenure of 27 years, he have conducted 5000 criminal investigations, 1000 search warrants, and 1000 child protection investigations. His colleagues in the Local Police Union have endorsed Jeff for county sheriff. They have served with him and have been inspired and encouraged by his example.

It is doubtful if a sheriff administrator who has conducted few investigations and search warrants can lead the sheriff’s department and gain the confidence of the public to make citizens feel safe. Likewise, there would be a lack of trust in the fire department chief if he/she did not have firefighting experience. How can a sheriff ask deputies to do tasks he does not have much experience or expertise in doing? Jeff Hohensee will lead a sheriff’s department in which the citizens can trust it to be a cohesive, trained, and inspired group lead by an experienced officer.

If you want to feel your county sheriff’s department will be effective against crime, vote for Jeff Hohensee a veteran, experienced leader.

Roger Klockziem

New Ulm

My name is Casey Helget and this is the first time I have ever written a letter like this.  I am a 31 year old single mother of two boys.  I have a loving family that helps and supports me and I am thankful for them.

I have made a number of mistakes in my life and I accept responsibility for them.  I was arrested in an undercover operation in New Ulm in 2006 and Jeff Hohensee supervised this case.  I sold some prescription medication and I have never denied this.  It was a traumatic and life changing experience and I was mad at everyone involved.  What I do remember about this arrest is that Jeff Hohensee treated me with respect and dignity.

Soon after my arrest I entered the Brown County Drug Court and I was surprised to see Jeff Hohensee at every drug court hearing.  It was during this 20 month drug court experience that I got to know Jeff Hohensee.  Jeff always supported my sobriety and was a positive role model for me.  I would see Jeff coaching baseball where my boys played at North Park.  Jeff continued to be a positive support for my family and me.

Once I graduated from Drug Court Jeff helped me get a job by being a reference for me.  I could not believe that the man who arrested me two and a half years earlier was now telling my employer that they should hire me and why.

This past summer I was talking with Jeff about sober activities and Jeff invited me to walk with him and his family, co-workers and friends in the local parades.  I was honored by this request and my son and I did walk with Jeff.

I respect Jeff because he sees the potential in me and is always there to give me practical advice.  He has never asked anything other than I stay sober and be the best mother I can be.  Jeff has been a true friend and I ask that you vote for him for Brown County Sheriff.

Retired deputy has worked with Hohensee, supports him

To the editor:

I have worked with Jeff on a number of cases over the years and it is Jeff’s work ethic and attention to detail that have impressed me most. I have also watched as Jeff has formed teams with the Drug Task Force and the sex trafficking task force that have obtained much success. Every team needs a leader and Jeff has stepped up in this position. I have noticed over the years that Jeff makes sure every team member is heard.

In law enforcement, these teams are very important, as we need to work together in a true collaborative effort. This is where the taxpayer is saved money by agencies working together. Jeff has earned a great reputation from other law enforcement officers in southern Minnesota. As your sheriff, this group of professionals will be an excellent resource for Jeff to call upon with questions or concerns that may arise.

I have nothing negative to say about Jason Seidl. It’s just that the 23 years I worked with Nicollet County, I never worked any cases with him. None the past 12 years he has been in the administration, or any of the 11 years prior when he worked in the jail.

I encourage Brown County residents to vote for Jeff Hohensee for your next Brown County Sheriff.

Dave Nielsen


Retired Nicollet County Deputy

To the editor:

Puhlmann Supports Hohensee

My name is Kayla Puhlmann of Puhlmann Lumber and Design. We have been a small family owned business for four generations. We pride ourselves as a locally owned, competitive, and providing superior customer service.

We have a small number of employees who work together in a family style atmosphere. In 2016 one of our employees left our family for a different job. This employee was our office manager/ bookkeeper and responsible for the majority of our financial transactions.

Soon after she left we discovered several suspicious transactions. These incidents constituted theft. I contacted the New Ulm Police Department. My call was routed to Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee. I did not know Jeff personally but had read his name in The Journal. I explained the nature of our theft and gave him a general overview of what we discovered. I was immediately impressed as Jeff gave us directions on how to prepare the paperwork. Jeff shared real experiences from his past to benefit our case.

At our initial meeting, Jeff explained the elements of the crime and the information we needed in order to prove our case. Jeff was straightforward with a methodical common sense approach. Jeff impressed our family the most by his constant communication with us. There were times when we questioned Jeff’s particular tactics but he assured us that we needed to be patient.

Jeff advised us of two separate types of prosecution applicable in this case. There was the criminal case prosecuted by the Brown County Attorney and also the civil case handled by our private attorney. Jeff worked tirelessly with both attorneys for our best interest. Without Jeff’s knowledge and dedication, we would not have been successful.

The suspect pled guilty to numerous felony theft charges. The court ordered her to re-pay our company $135,000. As a victim of a crime we felt violated and emotionally distraught. We credit the professionalism Jeff Hohensee demonstrated countless times as the sole reason for our successful resolution.

Our family asks you to consider our story when you vote in this year’s election for sheriff. Jeff Hohensee is definitely qualified to be your next sheriff.

Kayla Puhlmann

Puhlmann Lumber & Design

New Ulm

To the editor:

Vote for change, vote for Hohensee

I have had the pleasure of working with Jeff for the past 14 years and can tell you first hand that he is the only candidate for sheriff that has worked his entire way up the ladder in law enforcement. Working from the bottom up is highly valued and respected by officers because it shows that someone is simply not handed an administration position. This experience is the best and only way that a true law enforcement officer can fully understand each level of this profession. Jeff is the only candidate that has started as a patrol officer and worked his way up to become the Sr. Investigator of the NUPD.

Jeff has always had an open door policy with co-workers to help them in their own case investigations. One thing that Jeff has always said is that officers need the chance to work their own cases or investigations so they can learn new aspects of this profession. I have written multiple search warrants on my own with Jeff’s help and guidance. Jeff has been there while they are served showing and explaining the steps that are also involved. It is this confidence that Jeff has in officers that makes him the right choice to be the next Brown County Sheriff.

A vote for Jeff is a vote for positive change for the Brown County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens and visitors of Brown County.

Eric Gramentz

New Ulm Police Department Officer

To the editor:

Supporting Hohensee for Brown County sheriff

I have known Jeff Hohensee since he started his career with the New Ulm Police Department (NUPD) in 1991. In his first 3 months, he accepted the challenge of working as an Undercover Officer and assisted in conducting a successful narcotics investigation. Since that time, through hard work and dedication to his profession, he has been promoted to Senior Investigator.

As an officer of the NUPD for 28 years, I worked with Jeff for 15 of them. He has been part of the Drug Task Force for 20 years. He was a Team Leader for seven years of his 14 on the Emergency Response Unit. He was also one of the initial members involved with Brown County’s Drug Court. This program provided alternative programs for drug offenders enabling them to become productive citizens.

His most recent involvement has been the investigation of sex trafficking in partnership with Law Enforcement Agencies from Brown, Nicollet, and Blue Earth counties resulting in over 100 arrests. I know him to be a person of integrity who takes great pride in both his professional and personal life. Jeff has both the leadership and procedural experience to be sheriff for all the citizens of Brown County.

Harvey Grunst

New Ulm

Commander NUPD Retired

To the editor:

To the voters of Brown County:

It is my pleasure to endorse Jeff Hohensee for Sheriff in Brown County.

I have worked for the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office for 24 years; 12 years as a deputy and 12 years as an investigator. Over the course of my career, I have worked literally hundreds of cases with Jeff Hohensee. I have worked with Jeff in his capacity as a commander the Drug Task Force and as a colleague in criminal investigations such as assaults, burglaries, and criminal sexual investigations.

Most recently, we have teamed up in Nicollet, Brown, and Blue Earth Counties to combat human trafficking and prostitution. The “Minnesota Girls Are Not For Sale” campaign lead to the arrest of over 100 individuals soliciting sex for money. This campaign has been an eye-opener for law enforcement and our communities. Jeff also has given dozens of talks on this topic alone to community organizations and area professionals explaining what law enforcement is doing and the importance of combating sex trafficking.

Jeff’s experience and hard work ethic has been proven over the years in the serious felony cases many of you have read about in your local papers. He has visited many of you, going door-to-door and doing everything possible to get his message out that he will work hard and be available to listen to your concerns as your Sheriff.

Over the years, I have observed Jeff’s leadership skills, his ability to problem solve, and his willingness to take on the tough issues to get the job done. I fully support Jeff Hohensee for Brown County Sheriff and ask that you vote on August 14th for Jeff Hohensee.

Marc Chadderdon


Nicollet County Sheriffis Office

To the editor:

I am writing to support Jeff Hohensee for Brown County Sheriff. I have worked with Jeff in many criminal investigations including property crimes, drug crimes, and crimes against persons. Recently, I have worked with Jeff as part of the multi-jurisdictional sex trafficking team. Jeff took a key role in organizing funding and obtaining area law enforcement support. Jeff has proven he can run a multi-county group of investigators and get results in sex trafficking cases. He has played a key role in finding grant money to fund the sex trafficking stings. Jeff has spent countless hours education community groups on the dangers of sex trafficking in the State of Minnesota. It is my experience working cases with him that Jeff is an investigator that works for the victim and gets results. I support candidate Jeff Hohensee for Brown County Sheriff.

Detective Jerry Billiar


To the editor:

We are writing this letter as concerned parents in Brown County. We always thought drugs and sex trafficking were issues that were more prevalent in larger cities and suburbs. In the last four years, we have been proven wrong by many of the articles we all see in the local paper as well as pasted all over social media. We are quick to “share” the news when we see sex trafficking stings are happening. However, we are slow to find proactive ways to educate ourselves and prevent sex crimes from entering our communities at all.

We have learned there is someone in our law enforcement family who is as concerned as we are on this issue. Jeff Hohensee has proven quality leadership ability in his involvement during 24 stings since 2014. He has also saved taxpayer funds by writing and co-writing grants with teammates to make these stings possible. We have heard people say that they know the Seidl family or they have heard Jason is a nice guy. We know both Jason and Jeff and they are both nice guys; however, this election is not a popularity contest. We need to make educated decisions based on prior work history in the county along with leadership ability. We have seen Jeff Hohensee’s dedication, commitment, and leadership in his current position. His qualities would serve us well as Brown County Sherriff. Investigator Hohensee has our vote to continue his commitment to keep the children of Brown County safe.

Michelle Freiderich

New Ulm

Linda Albrecht

New Ulm

To the editor:

Hohensee will support TRIAD

I am Julie A. Duehring, retired Corporal New Ulm Police Department and current member of Brown County TRIAD for past 19 years. I also served as past Vice President of MN TRIAD Board.

I am involved and wholeheartedly endorsed the purpose of TRIAD to promote adult safety, lessen crime, and reduce fear of crime/victimization that older adults experience. The programs initiated by TRIAD at the state and county level thrive by the guidance and support of the local sheriff and municipal Chiefs of Police. Twenty-five counties in MN have successful programs.

Brown County TRIAD program began and flourished under retired Sheriff Bob Peterson and retired Investigator Leah Krenz. We had about 25 people in our group. Involved were law enforcement officers from Sleepy Eye, Hanska, Comfrey, New Ulm, and Springfield. However, in recent years we experienced a decline in membership from people moving on, an incoming new sheriff, and other factors.  Sheriff Hoffmann and Chief Deputy Seidl were not as active as previous sheriffs, which caused lack of enthusiasm among some citizen members. Our numbers have now dwindled to less than 10.

I urge voters to support Jeff Hohensee for Brown County Sheriff. He is very qualified and will bring a spark into Brown County TRIAD. Jeff has years of law enforcement experience, the leadership skills, the compassion and dedication to be your next Sheriff of Brown County.

It is apparent to me, Jeff Hohensee, should be the new sheriff in town (county) for senior citizens and all citizens. Vote as an informed citizen.

Julie A. Duehring

New Ulm

To the editor:

Brown County citizens, especially senior citizens, want information in order to vote in the election for county sheriff. TRIAD is a program designed to promote older adult safety, lessen crime, and reduce fear of crime/victimization. TRIAD combines law enforcement, senior citizens, and community groups to fulfill this purpose. It has national and state organizations to assist local counties through the county sheriff and police departments.

Brown County had a very active and successful program in the past under the county sheriff’s office and cooperating police departments. Under the administration of Sheriff Hoffmann and Chief Deputy Seidl, interest and participation has dropped dramatically. In the opinion of some at the organizational level, this is due to the lack of participation by the Sheriff and Chief Deputy.

There seems to be some confusion on how Jason Seidl would like to address this failure. During the League of Women Voters’ forum, Jason said, “So this is actually one of my initiatives, just not only having TRIAD…” In The Journal on Sept. 29, Jason proposed hosting bi-monthly meetings with senior citizens and community members with no mention of TRIAD. Is his initiative to be in the place of TRIAD or in addition to TRIAD? This initiative suggests ignoring the support, expertise, and governance of the county and state TRIAD boards. To a certain degree, this initiative mimics TRIAD. In the midst of this confusion, one has to ask why this initiative was not proposed before the election campaign.

Brown County candidate for sheriff, Jeff Hohensee, would like to reinstate the TRIAD program for Brown County. Jeff has demonstrated leadership skills to coordinate efforts across multiple agencies. He knows and can use resources and talents of individuals, agencies, and organizations to provide safety for senior citizens. Jeff has the commitment, compassion, and dedication to reinstate TRIAD.

I fully endorse Jeff Hohensee as the next sheriff for senior citizens and all citizens of Brown County.

Roger Klockziem

Dear Editor,

Prosecutor sees Hohensee’s work

I am Dan Kalk, an Assistant Brown County Attorney, working with Chuck Hanson, Brown County Attorney. My job is to prosecute criminal cases.  I am writing this letter to inform you of the outstanding work Jeff Hohensee has done as an investigator.

In the last three years, Jeff Hohensee has demonstrated leadership and collaborative abilities by creating and implementing the Sex Trafficking Task Force in Brown, Blue Earth, and Nicollet counties.  Jeff, Investigators Marc Chatterton-Nicollet County and Tom Rather-Blue Earth County have made this program a success. It is one of the first non-metro Sex Trafficking Task Forces in Minnesota.

Investigations that involve criminal sexual conduct are complex and difficult cases.  I have prosecuted the majority of the Sex Trafficking Task Force cases and believe Jeff’s experience and attention to detail are the main factors for the task force’s success.  Jeff and his task force colleagues have affected 111 arrests for prostitution and sex trafficking.  These arrests have made our communities safer.

Jeff takes ownership of his investigations.  He attends court almost every Tuesday to monitor the progress of his cases and to provide prosecutorial assistance. He sees his investigations through to the end, often times culminating in testifying at trials.

As a prosecutor, I truly feel part of this Sex Trafficking Task Force Team.  Jeff’s excellent judgment and experience has provided me with invaluable assistance. I have no doubt that if elected, Jeff Hohensee will carry over his dedication, commitment, and hard work as Brown County Sheriff.

Thank you,

Dan Kalk

Assistant Brown County Attorney

“By way of introduction, I am Aaron Petersen and I am an Investigator with the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office. I am writing this letter to support candidate Jeff Hohensee for the next Sheriff of Brown County.

I have known Jeff for the over 10 years, both professionally and personally. I have previously worked with Jeff as a narcotics officer and have witnessed his exceptional work ethic and tenacity while preforming the duties required in such an assignment. I have also assisted Jeff with several investigations and have seen his commitment to the citizens of Brown County.

More recently, I have worked under Jeff’s guidance during several prostitution stings. It is important to understand that without Jeff believing in this type of work, and his concern for those entangled in this lifestyle, these operations (arrests) would not have come to fruition. Jeff started planning and executing these operations with no instruction from those with past experience. Jeff made these operations a success due to his determination and his past leadership experience.

I have personally witnessed Jeff’s ability to communicate with others and his ability as a leader in the Law Enforcement community. I firmly believe that Jeff is qualified to lead the Brown County Sheriff’s Office and will do so while considering the best interests of the citizens of Brown County.”

Investigator Aaron Petersen
Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office

Jeff Hohensee - New Ulm


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Jeff Hohensee
Running for Brown County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota – 2018

Phone: 507-276-5210



Address: PO Box 622, New Ulm, MN 56073


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Voting Information

Primary – August 14, 2018
General Election – November 6, 2018

How to vote: Register

Absentee Vote: Go to Link

Polling Place Finder – (Updated for 2018)

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The Issues:

1) Solve Crimes

In the last 12 years the Brown
County’s Sheriff’s office is among the lowest in the state at solving crimes. 

2) Drug Task Force Reform

2012-2017 Brown County has the lowest number of arrests in our
current Drug Task Force.

3) Implement a County wide Crime Stoppers Program
Community policing with a renewed customer focus. 

4) Reinstate Brown County TRIAD
Which was once a thriving program for seniors that no longer has Sheriff’s Department support.

5) Expand the Drug Take-Back Program
Reinstate Drop-offs at Sleepy Eye and Springfield Police Departments. 

6) Emergency Management
Bring Emergency Management Director to the Brown County Sheriff’s office staff.

In the News

Hohensee (left) and Seidl

NEW ULM — The Brown County sheriff’s forum was held Wednesday night at the New Ulm Public Library.

On Nov. 6, Brown County voters will be asked to choose between Brown County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jason Seidl and New Ulm Police Department Senior Investigator Jeffrey Hohensee as their next sheriff.

The library presentation room was packed for the sheriff’s forum. Several dozen Brown County citizens attended the meeting, but if they were expecting fireworks in this contentious race there were none. Both candidates answered questions with respect and grace.

During opening statements, Seidl gave his background. He was born and raised in Sleepy Eye. He attended college at Mankato State University majoring in Law Enforcement and minoring in Corrections. After college he worked at Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton. In 1994, he returned to Brown County. He worked as a dispatcher and jail programmer for the county and for the last 12 years has served as chief deputy.

Hohensee said his number one priority as sheriff would be to be fiscally responsible while maintaining the highest level of public safety. Hohensee said he would never say bad things about his opponent, but said there are differences.

Hohensee felt the biggest difference was experience and he had 27 years of practical experience as a police officer in the community, while Seidl has 12 years as correctional officer and 12 years as a chief deputy. He said Seidl has never done the job of being a full-time officer or full-time deputy.

The two candidates agreed on many issues. Both strongly favored acquiring a drone for sheriff’s department use. Seidl said it would be nice to have the capability of a drone in-county rather than wait to borrow one from a different county. He added that the drone would not only be used by the sheriff, but by other departments like emergency management or the fire departments.

Hohensee favored a drone program. He specifically wanted to collaborate with other agencies to split the cost and use of the drone. For instance he said each police department and fire department could put in $2,000. Hohensee also wanted the drone to be managed by the emergency management director, because the director would be on most calls where a drone is needed.

Mental illness awareness was a top priority of both candidates. Seidl and Hohensee favored reducing the number of people incarcerated for mental illnesses by finding ways to keep them out of the system.

Hohensee wanted to collaborate with various agencies to prevent people with mental illness from entering the jail system as a cost saving method for the county. He mentioned the Bridge on Center program and the Yellow Line program in Blue Earth County. Yellow Line is a program that assesses whether a person under arrest is put into jail.

Seidl said law enforcement needs to be aware of mental illness because the sheriff’s department will deal directly with it. He said in 2017, the sheriff’s department had 118 suicide attempts, completed suicides or welfare checks. Seidl also wanted to use other agencies to help keep those with mental illness out of the jail system.

Asked about the benefits and drawbacks to having the New Ulm Police Department and sheriff’s department operate out of the same building, both candidates cited the greater communication between agencies a positive. Seidl said the only drawbacks were the conflict when one agency had different requirements based on state statutes. Hohensee added the fiscal savings was a benefit in addition to communication. The only drawback he saw was keeping staff in close quarters, which can create clashes.

The candidates were asked if the costs of the Sex Trafficking Taskforce and sting arrests are a justifiable expense to the county.

Hohensee said the cost to the county has been zero due to a collaboration between Blue Earth County and Nicollet County that has allowed them to access several grants. He believed that if the grant funding should go away, the three counties could split the cost to continue seeking additional grants.

Seidl said the taskforce was a good way of getting the information out to people, but it also got victims out of dangerous situations. He added a bigger problem in the county was incidents involving teenagers in a social media setting. The program provides education for parents to prevent this.

On the topic of 24/7 patrol coverage, Hohensee was willing to continue this standard but he wanted to look into calls of service records to determine if it was necessary.

Seidl said he would love to keep 24/7 patrol coverage because when people make calls they want a quick response. In addition, the small police departments across Brown County need backup and the deputy on duty is that backup.

The greatest point of disagreement was the need for a canine unit for the sheriff’s department. Seidl favored getting a canine for the sheriff’s department. He believed a canine was an important resource and time was crucial. “You don’t want to wait an hour or two hour for another community to answer to see if they have a dog,” Seidl said.

Hohensee was against bringing in a dog due to the cost. He said that according to the record the New Ulm police dog was requested by the sheriff’s department three times and the total cost was $425. Hohensee said the startup cost for a canine program is $60,000 and then there are reoccurring costs. He believes the New Ulm canine unit and sheriff’s canine unit would be a duplicate of resources.

Seidl used a rebuttal to comment further. He said New Ulm does have a canine unit, but the whole county does not have use of the dog. He said there have been recent cases where a dog was needed, but was unavailable.

The last question of the forum was whether the sheriff’s department and police can work together after this contentious election.

“Absolutely,” Seidl said. “Ultimately when you come down to it and you need to get the work done, you will stand shoulder to shoulder and get it done.”

Hohensee agreed and said he was careful to avoid asking officers to support him in the election because it can divide the departments.

“I think that this race is good for the community,” Hohensee said. “It gets us talking about the issues, things like dogs and drones. For 12 years these things have never come up.”

In closing statements, Hohensee said he enjoyed going door-to-door talking to people about the issues and will hold his head high no matter the outcome of the election.

Seidl said the position of Sheriff requires experience and leadership skills and he has both of these qualities. He looks forward to leading the Sheriff’s Department in a positive and ethical manner.

See Full Article on the New Ulm Journal

NEW ULM — New Ulm Police arrested a 30-year-old New Ulm man Friday as a suspect involved in the Aug. 30 fire at the B & J Laundromat, 506 Center St.

New Ulm Police Department Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee lauded the work of New Ulm Police officer Tara Martin who reviewed laundromat surveillance camera video and noticed a vehicle from prior contacts.

“She did a great job, linking past experience with a vehicle in the video which really shone light in the investigation,” Hohensee said.

The laundromat fire was reported at 6:56 a.m. Thursday when a caller reported smoke coming from the building. Firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the first and second floor. A second-floor apartment occupant escaped from the building without injury after being alerted by smoke detectors.

The fire was under control within 40 minutes. Crews were at the scene for several hours to ensure the fire did not spread. The first floor of the laundromat had heavy fire and smoke damage. There was smoke damage to second-floor apartments. Adjacent buildings were ventilated for light smoke. One firefighter had a minor injury.

In addition, as a result of the search warrant, information was obtained that led Hohensee Friday to the City of Lewisville, in southern Watonwan County. With help from the Watonwan County Sheriff’s Office, two handguns were recovered from a residence. Police allege they are two of the three guns stolen from R&R Bait & Tackle, New Ulm Aug. 29.

In addition, a Patek Nonpareil concertina was recovered at a Lewisville residence. Police believe the concertina is the same one stolen Aug. 27 in a burglary at Southside Auto Salvage in New Ulm.

Hohensee said authorities continue to search for a .45 caliber, semi-automatic FNH handgun also reported stolen at R&R Bait & Tackle last week.

“The missing handgun is a huge public safety issue. We will continue to investigate this case,”Hohensee said.

The Brown County Attorney’s Office will review law enforcement reports on the stolen and recovered items. Formal charges are expected on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Assisting agencies in the cases include the Watonwan, Nicollet and Brown County Sheriff’s Departments, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

Brown County Sheriff Candidates: Time for Social Media

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Brown County sheriff candidates, from left, Jason Fairbairn, Jeff Hohensee and Matt Ibberson participate in a New Ulm League of Women Voters forum at City Hall Aug. 2.

By: New Ulm Journal

NEW ULM — A roomful of people listened to four Brown County Sheriff candidates agree on most subjects at a 90-minute forum in City Hall Aug. 2.

Sponsored by the New Ulm League of Women Voters, the forum included questions submitted in person at the event and others phoned in to a local number.

Regarding enforcing laws fairly, New Ulm Police Department Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee said he has worked with the New Ulm Human Rights Commission in the past and he’d call on them again to talk about respect and equality to his deputies if elected sheriff.

“A handshake and a few words of advice are good, especially to those in the narcotics community because we have a lot of repeat offenders,” Hohensee said.

Brown County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jason Seidl said he considered mental health issues the biggest concern for residents.

“We’re working with Human Services, helping people get the right service,”Seidl said.

“Look at the Brown County jail roster,” Hohensee said. “Most people are there for sex and drug-related crimes. The Drug Task Force (DTF) was at its best when I ran it. We’ll have weekly meetings and set short, mid and long-term goals. I do criminal sexual assaults for the City of New Ulm. Those cases are near and dear to me. We need to treat them collaboratively.”

Brown County Deputy Jason Fairbairn said mental illness often leads to sex trafficking and drugs.

“We need to reduce recidivism (repeat offenders) and get people to quit turning to alcohol and drugs,” Fairbairn said.

Former Brown County deputy Matt Ibberson said it’s important to educate parents on triggers.

“Sometimes, they’re blind to it,” Ibberson said. “You can set up training to deter a lot of crime.”

Seidl accused Hohensee of over-running the DTF budget in 2011.

Hohensee denied doing so, saying he applied for grants including a $275,000 grant when he expanded the DTF with two more employees and added the Lower Sioux Reservation near Morton to its coverage area.

“The DTF was at its best when I ran it,” Hohensee said.

In addition, Hohensee said the sheriff’s office needs to be a role model for police departments in smaller towns.

“Police need to come to the sheriff’s office for help and its experience. That has not happened the last few years,” Hohensee said. “They ask the New Ulm Police Department for help. I’ve helped them complete cases.”

Seidl said he just had a request from another agency for help.

“We help everybody,” Seidl said.

Ibberson said he felt the sheriff’s office worked very well with police.

“I’ve helped police departments when they get calls,” Ibberson said. “I think cross training is a very good thing.”

Fairbairn said he has helped Sleepy Eye and Comfrey Police on a number of cases including deaths.

“I’ve gone to Jeff (Hohensee) for help,” Fairbairn said. “They’re very capable officers. It’s an open door.”

Candidates agreed that Drug and Vets Court are good things.

Seidl said Drug Court is tougher and has better services because it follows people all the way through.

Hohensee said he was on the initial Drug Court team.

“People in Drug Court stay sober because they’re checked on five to six times a week,” Hohensee said. “But when they get out, they’re only checked on five or six times a year. We need to correct that mistake.”

Hohensee said Vets Court mentors help people through mental illness and addiction.

Regarding welfare fraud, Fairbairn said he’d talk to Brown County Human Services (BCHS) about it.

“I’ve heard of people with two addresses, one in New Ulm, another in Hennepin County,” Fairbairn said. “If the BCHS workload is too much, we may be able to add an investigator.”

Ibberson said Brown County has a great human services department, but there are grants to add investigators.

“I think it’s important,” Ibberson said. “I hear about people wrongfully getting assistance on the street.”

Hohensee said Brown County Welfare Fraud Investigator Preston Cowing has trained investigators in surrounding counties and does a “fabulous” job.

Seidl agreed.

In addition, Seidl said he would not hold people on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) warrant without a judge’s signature.

“We notify ICE about possible illegal aliens,” Seidl said.

Hohensee said ICE is inconsistent about wanting aliens.

“Sometimes they want them, sometimes they don’t,” Hohensee said. “I’d like to see them develop a policy at the state level.”

Fairbairn asked what recourse people have when illegal immigrants commit crimes and hurt people.

All candidates agreed the TRIAD program needs to be emphasized more to educate seniors, vulnerable adults and anyone else about scams, despite the fact that sheriff’s staff continues to talk to people and groups about scams.

All candidates agreed social media should be used more.

“I use it as a tool to solve crimes,” Hohensee said. “It’s amazing from an investigative standpoint.”

Voters will cut the sheriffs candidate field from four to two in the Aug. 14 primary election.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at

Guilty: Another Brown County Underage Sex Sting Suspect Convicted

By: Southern Minnesota Today News

(New Ulm, MN) – For the second time in a month, a suspect arrested in an undercover, underage sex sting in Brown County has been convicted.

Paul Lund of Cottonwood, age 47, was found guilty of “prostitution with a minor,” for soliciting sex with someone he thought was a 16-year-old girl.

Police say when Lund sent multiple sexually explicit texts, including one that said it “would be fun to f*ck a tight 16 year old.” He offered to pay her $200 with a condom or $250 without.

“Our children are not for sale. And these verdicts send a clear message to would be predators that they will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Assistant Brown County Attorney Dan Kalk.

In June, 70-year-old Lawrence Depyper, who was caught in the same sting, was convicted by a jury after just 8 minutes of deliberations.

(Lawrence Depyper)

Depyper and Lund were among the eight men arrested during the operation last August in the town of Springfield.

The others included 40-year-old James Robert Wallace of Madelia. The case of Wallace and the others are still working their way through the courts.

(James Wallace)

The Brown County sex sting used the website, which has since shut down its personals section because it was commonly used by prostitutes and johns.

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(Copyright© 2018 Southern Minnesota Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Felony Charges Mount Against New Ulm Man, Accused Again Of Sex-Related Crimes

(New Ulm, MN) – A New Ulm man is facing more felony charges, accused of violating a restraining order and offering money in exchange for sexual favors.

Twenty-two-year-old Colten Chase Camacho was charged  with felony prostitution – hiring and felony violation of a restraining order.  He is also charged with misdemeanor harassment.

The criminal complaint says that Camacho is accused of starting Snapchat conversations with two females, onea 17-year-old who has a restraining order against him.

In a conversation with one of the females on May 25, Camacho allegedly asked her if she performed specific sex acts for money.  The conversation was terminated when she said she was going to make a police report.

On June 15, Camacho started a Snapchat conversation with the teen, who responded a couple days later.  Camacho, according to court documents, told the teen he would be in New Ulm that evening and would pay $500 if she wanted extra money.

Camacho is already facing a plethora of charges for criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, engaging prostitution, and more in both Blue Earth and Brown counties.  In April 2017, he was accused of forcing a woman to perform oral sex for a ride.

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(Copyright © 2017 Southern Minnesota News – Alpha Media Mankato. All rights reserved)

Brown County Jury returns GUILTY Verdict in 8 minutes
By Joe Steck

Mankato Times

Lawrence David Depyper
NEW ULM, MINN. — On Friday, July 6th 2018, the Brown County Attorney’s Office concluded a two-day jury trial, State vs. Depyper 08-CR-17-906.  The Brown County Jury deliberated at total of 8-minutes before returning a verdict of Guilty as Lawrence David Depyper, Lynd, Minn., was charged with Prostitution with a Minor.
Assistant Brown County Attorney Dan Kalk who prosecuted the case stated “I am pleased with the jury’s verdict. The jury considered all the evidence and arrived quickly at the correct determination.  It is also encouraging to know that these sex stings conducted by law enforcement are helping to keep this community safe from those that would otherwise prey on children.  Our law enforcement sex trafficking group have put in an incredible amount of time and training making sure that these stings are effective.  They deserve credit for making our communities in Brown County safer.”
Lawrence David Depyper was arrested on August 26th 2017, as a result of a sting operation conducted by local law enforcement that was held in the town of Springfield MN.
Sr. Inv. Jeff Hohensee of the New Ulm Police Department states that “This operation and it overwhelming success shows us how prevalent sex trafficking and underage prostitution is in our smaller rural communities.”
In the two-day operation we posted advertisements on-line that suggested we would have sex for money.  When the suspects corresponded with undercover investigators they were told that the girl was 16 years old.  Over 50 suspects were interested in having sex for money.
Lawrence David Depyper was one of 8 suspects arrested in the two-day operation.  This investigation was supervised by Hohensee and assisting departments were the Springfield Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Department, Nicollet County Sheriff’s Department and the Mankato Department of Public Safety.  This and other sex trafficking stings are funded by grants that the local investigators obtained by the Minnesota Women’s Foundation, and the Office of Justice Programs.

Feehan, Kimmel, Hohensee talk at DFL picnic
19 Jun 2018 — The Journal

Fritz Busch

NEW ULM – Recently-endorsed 1st Congressional District DFL candidate Dan Feehan of Mankato spoke with an air of seriousness at the Brown County DFL annual picnic at Hermann Heights Park June 18.

“Our country seems to be pulling apart lately,” Feehan said. “There’s a feeling of fear in the country and on the campaign trail. We’ve got a great campaign to be a part of. It’s about action. Engage yourself and your neighbors.”

Feehan invited people to join him in the Springfield Grand Parade at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 22. On June 30, Feehan invited people to knock on doors with him in New Ulm.

“I’ve been a soldier, teacher and worked at the Pentagon,” Feehan said. “I didn’t do anything alone. I got things done working with people who decided to step up. Work with us. We’ve got a positive message to get out.”

District 16B candidate Mindy Kimmel of New Ulm said it’s time for people to act, it’s time for affordable healthcare, childcare and housing. She called for investing in pre-school and K-12 education so children have a world-class education.

In addition, Kimmel said she’s running for the State House to support long-term transportation solutions for safe roads and bridges.

“We’ve got to find new ways to operate. Come out and join us. It’s our time,” Kimmel said. She asked for supporters to walk with her at the Springfield parade.

Brown County Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee said becoming a sheriff’s campaign candidate is something he’s been looking forward to do to make the department a great place to work and bring accountability to the sheriff’s department.

“I’ve lived in this community for 27 years and this is something I’ve wanted to do my entire career,” Hohensee said. “I think Brown County can solve crimes better than it is doing. Since coming here, I’ve written more than 1,000 search warrants, averaging more than 100 a year, since I took that job. I can help this county solve more crimes.”

Hohensee said when he was Drug Task Force (DTF) Commander from 2009 to 2011, the DTF increased from three to five counties and increased in size from three to five employees.

In addition, Hohensee said Minnesota Drug Treatment program statistics showed that methamphetamine use in Brown County is double the state average.

“I can change that,” Hohensee said.

“The Drug Take-Back Program is a wonderful program that started three years ago,” Hohensee said. “The program was in New Ulm, Sleepy Eye and Springfield but last year, the Legislature said they had to be operated by the sheriff’s department, so the program stopped in Sleepy Eye and Springfield. That’s a total of 400 pounds of drugs collected in Sleepy Eye and Springfield each month. That’s a lot of prevention.”

Hohensee said the Drug Take-Back program thwarts thieves from stealing drugs, especially from residences. As sheriff, he said he’d reinstate drug drop-off points in Sleepy Eye and Springfield.

In addition, Hohensee said he’d like to bring an emergency management director to the county sheriff’s office staff.

“The three gentlemen that are running against me are good guys, but they don’t have the experience I do,” Hohensee said. “I will find funding for these programs, including programs that resulted in the arrest of 111 people who wanted to have sex with area kids the last three years.”

Fritz Busch can be emailed at

“Feehan, Kimmel, Hohensee talk at DFL picnic” The Journal 19 Jun 2018: A1

My Press Release:

May 22nd 2018

Residence of Brown County,

My name is Jeff Hohensee and I’ve been employed as a police officer with the New Ulm Police Department for 27 years.  At 9 AM this morning, I filed to run for the position of Brown County Sheriff.  I am excited for the campaign process to begin.

Since my announcement to run for the Sheriff’s Office in early May, I’ve talked with current and former sheriffs from the surrounding area.  We all agreed that it is necessary to meet with county residents in order to discuss issues related to the operation of the Sheriff’s Office.  I’m planning to meet with as many of you as possible during my campaign and look forward to listening to your views.

If elected, I plan to return the Brown County Sheriff’s Office to the professional organization it once was.  I will coach, teach, and provide training to Brown County Sheriff’s Office employees so they can use their strengths and talents to provide the best service possible to the residents of Brown County.

During my long career as a peace officer, I’ve learned that good communication is vital.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have.

You can contact me anytime by messaging me at my campaign website ( or at my campaign Facebook page.

Thank you in advance for any input you might provide. I look for to serving you as Brown Co. Sheriff.

Respectfully submitted

Jeff Hohensee

About Me:

I grew up in the Winona area where I graduated from Winona High School in 1987. After High School I moved to Alexandria where I received my degree in Law Enforcement. In 1991 I was hired by the New Ulm Police Department, where I have now lived for 27 years.  I am very proud to be a police officer and I currently the Senior Investigator, where I  supervise and investigate all felony-level cases reported to the New Ulm Police Department. I am happily married with three wonderful children. They continue to support me as I take the next step in goal to become Brown County Sheriff.


My wife, Mary and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary on July 3rd 2018. We are very blessed to have 3 wonderful children, Ellie (18), Rachel (16), Benjamin (13).

Ellie will be a sophomore at Winona State University, studying Nursing.
Rachel will be a Junior at New Ulm High School. She is involved in volleyball, choir and theater.
Benjamin will be in 8th grade and New Ulm Middle School. He is involved in New Ulm Jr. Baseball and New Ulm/Sleepy Eye Hockey. He also enjoys hunting and fishing.


  • 27 years with the New Ulm Police Department
  • 1991 Hired as Patrol Officer
  • Promoted to Corporal in 2006
  • Promoted to Investigator in 2003
  • Promoted to Sr. Investigator in 2004
  • Drug Task Force Member from 1991 to 2011
  • BLR Emergency Response Team Leader/member 1994 to 2008
  • BLR Drug Task Force Commander 2009 to 2011
  • Sex Trafficking Lead Investigator 2014 to 2018
  • 1,000 plus search warrants in career, Narcotic, general, telecommunication
  • 1,000 plus Child Protection Investigations
  • 5,000 criminal investigations
  • Assists Brown County Welfare Fraud Investigations


Brown County Crime Stoppers Program

Reinstate Brown County Triad Program

Reinstate Drug Task Force Professionalism

Uniform Crime Report and Conviction Rates will Increase