Carlton County corrections officer makes first appearance in alleged drunken crashA Carlton County corrections officer and former sheriff’s deputy allegedly involved in a drunken one-vehicle rollover resulting in injuries last October made an initial appearance in Carlton County Court Monday.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
A Carlton County corrections officer and former sheriff’s deputy allegedly involved in a drunken one-vehicle rollover resulting in injuries last October made an initial appearance in Carlton County Court Monday.
Michael John Laveau, 29, appeared in front of St. Louis County District Judge Shaun Floerke after both Carlton judges, Dale Wolf and Robert Macaulay, recused themselves from the case in February.
The criminal complaint and summons was filed in Carlton County Court in January by an assistant Pine County attorney, who received the case after Carlton County Attorney Thomas Pertler also cited conflict of interest concerns.
In court Monday, defense attorney Christopher Stocke and Pine County Senior Assistant Attorney Steven Cundy agreed they would waive a 28-day rule for Laveau’s next appearance, which was to be set at a later date. They said they would take the time to discuss a possible settlement. No bail was set in the case.
Laveau is charged with gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation, misdemeanor fourth degree driving while intoxicated and misdemeanor fourth degree driving while intoxicated - .08 or more within two hours, in connection with the incident which occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 18.
According to court documents, at about 1:25 a.m., Laveau was driving a Dodge pickup truck north on Highway 45 near the Scanlon Park and Ride by Interstate 35 when he swerved to miss “some type of animal,” that had run out in front of him. Laveau lost control of the truck and it rolled, coming to a stop on the shoulder of the road on the driver’s side.
Laveau and passenger Kaira Lee Wedin, 28, were not wearing seat belts and she was reportedly thrown from the vehicle. Officers said they observed lacerations and redness on her face and dried blood in her hair. She was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital with injuries to her neck and head and was treated and released.
Laveau was taken by ambulance to Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and had a blood alcohol test administered. Officers at the scene also reported a strong odor of alcohol coming from Laveau and that his eyes were watery and glazed over. According to a toxicology report from the State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Laveau’s blood alcohol concentration was found to be .12 more than an hour after the accident. Minnesota law states the legal limit for driving while intoxicated is .08.
Laveau has been a Carlton County Sheriff’s Office employee since June 2004 and although hired as a corrections officer, Laveau is a licensed deputy and was on patrol for the county from March 2006 until July 2008 while another deputy was on military deployment, according to Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake.
After taking sick leave due to injuries, Lake said in November that Laveau has been back to work in the jail.