Ramsey County sheriff-elect Bob Fletcher picks leadership team

December 5, 2018

Ramsey County Sheriff-elect Bob Fletcher announced his leadership team Wednesday morning, poaching a high-ranking officer from St. Paul police and tapping one of its former chiefs for top spots.

One of Fletcher’s most notable grabs is the recruitment of St. Paul police Snr. Cmdr. Tina McNamara, the hard-charging leader of the department’s homicide and robbery unit who was a finalist for the police chief post in 2016.

McNamara will serve as undersheriff for court and security services.

Fletcher also named former St. Paul police chief William Finney as his undersheriff for community relations. Finney’s decadeslong career with St. Paul police ended with his retirement in 2004 after 12 years as chief.

Finney ran against Fletcher’ re-election bid in 2006, and lost by a narrow margin.

An expected pick is Mike Martin, assistant director of emergency management for the University of Minnesota. Martin had announced plans to run for Ramsey County Sheriff, then backtracked in June when Fletcher formally announced his intentions to challenge Sheriff Jack Serier.

Martin, who was a Minneapolis police officer for 23 years, said at the time that he would support Fletcher and work on his campaign. Martin will serve as undersheriff for regional services.

Fletcher’s other picks: Dave Metusalem, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officer Association and a former Ramsey County undersheriff, will serve as Fletcher’s chief deputy; current sheriff’s commander Jeff Ramacher will serve as undersheriff for public safety services; and Roy Magnuson, a teacher and coach with St. Paul Public Schools, will serve as Fletcher’s spokesman.

Fletcher, who started his long law enforcement career as a St. Paul police officer, won election in November to the sheriff’s post, beating out Serier, his only opponent. Fletcher was first elected to the post in 1994 and held the office for 16 years until losing re-election in 2010 to Matt Bostrom.

His return to the sheriff’s office was marked by months of critical accusations against Serier, who was appointed to the job in 2017 by the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners after Bostrom retired early.

Fletcher earned about 53 percent of the vote compared to Serier’s 47 percent. Fletcher’s campaign platform included detention reform, immediately implementing body camera usage and increasing the number of women and people of color among the sheriff’s deputies.

Fletcher most recently served as mayor of Vadnais Heights.

Fletcher, who served as a St. Paul City Council member in the 1980s, will take office in January.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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