Tuntland Calls Highway Patrol Officer Shannon Henke

November 9, 2010

Henke testified his commander had assigned him duties with regard to the Blunt investigation.  He'd had complaints that drivers license photos had been accessed, printed, and shown to the public in an internal investigation.  He was to see if the photos had been used.  He testified he interviewed a variety of people including Blunt and Rob Forward.  He testified that Forward's attitude changed when he asked to interview Sandy Blunt.  He said he wouldn't call it hostile, but he expected more from a fellow state employee and he never was allowed to interview Sandy Blunt.  When asked if Forward cooperated with his requests, he said he expected more at times. 

Henke said he was eventually assigned to the Long investigation by his District Commander, Capt. Eric Peterson.  He testified he met with Attorney General Stenehjem who gave him the scope of his investigation and wanted him to look into the whistleblower allegations from both Long and Todd Flannagan.  He said that Long and Flannagan had both cooperated with law enforcement so they filed for whisteblower protection against retaliation.  He was to find the reason for their termination or suspension, compile that information, and bring it to the Attorney General's office.

Henke stated he did not interview witnesses, but requested information from WSI personnel files through staff attorney Anne Green.  Henke stated he submitted his report to Attorney General Stenehjem, but had not directly submitted it to Peter Weltz in Grand Forks.  Henke said he became aware of the lengthy report Long had submitted regarding violations of law at WSI, but he was not asked to investigate them.  Henke said it was not unusual to have an investigation where there were no witnesses interviewed. 

Mitch Armstrong then questioned Henke.  Armstrong established that Henke was specifically assigned to determine whether Long was fired in retaliation for filing whistleblower protection.  Henke said yes.  When asked whether any charges were brought, Henke said no. 

It was established that Henke had received the initial packet of Long's allegations, but as far as Henke knew no one had ever investigated that. 

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