Itasca County Attorney, Jack Muhar has announced that he has filed for re-election as your County Attorney and will ask the residents of Itasca County for their continued support and vote in the election this fall.
The Office of the County Attorney is responsible for the county’s criminal prosecution of both adult and juvenile offenders and provides legal counsel to the Itasca County Board of Commissioners and the various county departments in all legal matters. County Attorney Muhar states “It is the commitment of our office to provide professional, fair and effective criminal prosecution and legal services to county government and citizens. We stress teamwork within our office in order to work cooperatively and creatively with other governmental and private organizations to achieve efficient outcomes and to solve problems in the areas of both criminal justice and general county business. While serving as County attorney I have been fortunate to have the support and assistance of a dedicated, professional and well trained staff that enjoys and is proud of its achievement in service to the public.“
County Attorney Muhar was first elected in 1990 and has served the citizens of the county as County Attorney for 24 years. “I am seeking re-election because of my continued commitment and desire to serve our residents and county. It is important that we continue the strong relationships established between the County Attorney’s Office, the public, law enforcement, victim advocates and our public service agencies. Our office has built a working relationship of trust, confidence and respect with our Board of County Commissioners and department managers.”
County Attorney Muhar has promoted the establishment and participation of his office in numerous local initiatives. “We continue to seek new solutions and partnerships. I have made cooperation and teamwork a priority for our office. It is these relationships and the environment they create that allow us to work together effectively to assess programs, to improve those that work and modify or terminate those that do not.”
Under his direction a Victim’s Assistance program was established and funded through state and federal grants. This program has given support and services to thousands of persons who have been the victims of crime. In order to better serve crime victims he lead in the design of procedures for the efficient processing of restitution claims which was adopted and implemented by local judges and court administration. Restitution is a payment by an offender to a victim to recover the out of pocket losses the victim has suffered as a result of the defendant’s crime. The implementation of these procedures and the cooperative efforts of state and county probation departments and court administration has resulted in payments from offenders to victim’s in excess of $135,000.00 in 2013.
The Office has advocated and implemented the use of forfeiture procedures which take money and property away from drug offenders and motor vehicles away from repeat DUI offenders. These efforts have resulted in significant additional funding to county and city law enforcement agencies for the purposes of enhanced drug and DUI enforcement and financial support for chemical free high school activities.
Muhar also worked with probation, law enforcement, treatment providers and the court to establish a drug and DUI court specifically designed to address drug and alcohol dependant offenders.
County Attorney Muhar goes on to say, “One of our current long-term initiatives is the reduction and ultimate elimination of the use of paper files through the use electronic document transfer from law enforcement and county agencies to our office, the electronic maintenance of our internal files and subsequent electronic document distribution to opposing counsel and filing with the courts. Thus far we have had significant success in a process that has many stakeholders and is complex and challenging.”
At the state level, County Attorney Muhar serves as an elected member of the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association and also serves on its Criminal Law and Indian Law Committees. Locally he has served as board chair of the Itasca County Family YMCA, the Grand Rapids Area Library Foundation and Grand Rapids Area United Way and served as Its 2005 Annual Campaign Chair and Board President in 2009-2010. He continues as a volunteer on fund raising projects for the YMCA, the United Way and coordinates the annual county holiday program supporting Second Harvest North Central Food Bank.
Muhar and his wife, Jan, live in Harris Township near Grand Rapids and have been lifelong residents of Itasca County. They have two adult daughters, Alexandra and Caitlin. Jan is employed as a manager at the LaPrairie Branch of the First National Bank of Coleraine. County Attorney Muhar, is a graduate of Grand Rapids High School. He attended St. John’s University at Collegeville, Minnesota graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science, ultimately receiving his juris doctor in law from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Prior to his election as County Attorney he was a partner in the Grand Rapids law firm of Huntley and Muhar. Muhar has 36 years of experience working in the areas of criminal and juvenile law, family law, real estate, business and public law together with 24 years of management and administrative experience.
“I look forward to the opportunity to see you in the upcoming months to ask you for your continued support and vote this fall.”