MINNEAPOLIS - Hennepin County District Court JudgeLloyd Zimmerman has been reassigned after publicly voicing concern over lack of security, and what he called dangerous conditions at surburban court facilities.
Zimmerman told KARE 11 about the reassignment Monday, saying in an email that he has been moved from civil to family court, and that there are no cases on his docket for the rest of the week.
When KARE 11's Jana Shortal asked Judge Zimmerman if the reassignment was a good or bad thing, Zimmerman replied simply; "It's very bad... punishment."
The move comes after Zimmerman released an emailthat he hadrecently written to colleagues, Sheriff Rich Stanek and Hennepin County Commissioners restating his continued concerns about presiding over domestic violence cases at the Hennepin County Court facility at Brookdale.
Zimmerman's concerns came to a head after a Dec. 15 shooting critically injured a prosecutor and witness at the Cook County Courthouse in northern Minnesota. The judge said in an email to his colleagues that he's tired of entering the Brookdale courthouse and wondering whether he "will be carried out in a body bag."
The judge also said he would refuse to accept the rotating assignments at Brookdale until security was improved.
Sheriff Stanek supports Judge Zimmerman's position, saying screening needs to be improved at the suburban court locations to bring the up to levels like those at the government center in downtown Minneapolis.