MARISA AGHA, Pioneer Press
October 15, 2002

In a series of confusing votes Monday night, Roseville city leaders did not renew agreements with the two separate firms handling the city attorney and city prosecutor services.

First, in a 3-1 vote, the council rejected continuing with the firm of Campbell Knutson for city attorney services. Similarly, the council voted 3-1 against staying with the firm of Jensen, Bell, Converse & Erickson for the city's prosecutor duties.

While Council Member Dean Maschka wants to stay with Campbell Knutson as city attorney, he said he voted against them so that he could be on the prevailing side, which allows him to raise the issue again. Maschka said he wanted to get Council Member Tom Kough's "input.'' Kough, the council's swing vote, is competing in diving championships in Australia.

In other twists, after both votes, Mayor John Kysylyczyn made motions to reconsider both matters, but both motions failed with Kysylyczyn voting against both of his own motions.

Confused? So was the council, the mayor and city staff as to whether the city will fly without a legal net for now.

Kysylyczyn said his concerns center on the his allegations that City Attorney Joel Jamnik of Campbell Knutson organized serial consecutive council meetings that violated the state's open meetings law before Kysylyczyn was on the council and lobbied on behalf of the city at the Legislature without council approval.

Jamnik declined to comment on the matter.

Council Member Craig Klausing, the dissenting vote in support of staying with Campbell Knutson, questioned the mayor's reasons and spoke highly of Jamnik's professionalism and legal competence. Klausing, an attorney, noted that the issue has appeared repeatedly on council agendas since January.

Kysylyczyn said he didn't know if the issue to work with the firms would come up again.

"In Roseville, this is the Wild Wild West,'' Kysylczyn said. "Anything can happen.''

Marisa Agha can be reached at or (651) 228-2109.

2002 St. Paul Pioneer Press and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.