N E W S R E L E A S E
August 2, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager
218-725-5049 (office) · 218-591-2219 (cell)
Prosecutor Gary Bjorklund to be honored with
Customer Service Recognition Award
The man who’s successfully prosecuted some of the most heart-wrenching cases in the county is now being honored as one of St. Louis County’s best. Gary Bjorklund will be honored by the County Board with its Customer Service Recognition Award. Third District Commissioner Chris Dahlberg will present the award to Bjorklund on Tuesday, August 7, at 9:30 a.m., just prior to the start of the Board’s regular meeting in the County Board Room on the second floor of the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth.
Bjorklund has worked in the County Attorney’s Office since 1983, starting in the Juvenile Division and later moving to the Criminal Division. Since January 2011, Bjorklund has led the Criminal Division, overseeing the 13 prosecuting attorneys who handle adult cases in Duluth, Virginia and Hibbing. Some of the more notable cases Bjorklund has prosecuted include:
Michael Tahtinen, who was convicted last year of first degree manslaughter for the death of his neighbors’ 11-month-old son, Connor Robison. (Bjorklund prosecuted with Kristen Swanson as co-counsel.)
Michael Pero, who pleaded guilty to second degree murder in 1997 for kidnapping Michael King with the intent of keeping him as a sex slave, and then killing him and hiding King’s body in a box on his parents’ property.
Alan Orfi, who was convicted of second degree murder for the 1991 beating death of his girlfriend’s 23-month-old son.
Commissioner Dahlberg nominated Bjorklund for the award, praising him for his quiet strength and willingness to take on horrific cases. Said Dahlberg, “Not only would St. Louis County be at a great loss without such an individual working on our behalf, but so would the many vulnerable and abused of our society to whom Mr. Bjorklund gives a strong voice.”
County Attorney Mark Rubin, who’s worked with Bjorklund for more than a quarter century, praised him for his willingness to fight, often times for our county’s most vulnerable. “Gary is never afraid to try a tough case,” said Rubin. “He tends to avoid the spotlight, but rather quietly goes about his job, working with investigators as well as victims of crime, in an effort to achieve justice.”
St. Louis County Commissioners have made it a priority in 2012 to recognize employees who demonstrate a particularly high level of customer service. St. Louis County employs approximately 1,600 people to serve its more than 200,000 residents spread across 7,092 square miles. To learn more, visit stlouiscountymn.gov.