MARISA AGHA, Saint Paul Pioneer Press
November 12, 2002

White Bear Lake city prosecutor Doug Meslow said his election to the Minnesota Legislature isn't likely to hamper his prosecution of Roseville Mayor John Kysylyczyn, accused of official misconduct.

But the prosecution and defense may duke it out Wednesday over the scheduling of the next hearing, believed to be a pivotal one in the case. While Meslow would like the second hearing to take place before his work at the Capitol begins Jan. 7, the mayor's attorney was not ready to commit to a date Monday.

The mayor's first court appearance is set for 8:15 a.m. Wednesday at the Maplewood courthouse, 2785 White Bear Ave. At that time, Kysylyczyn may formally hear the charges.

During that hearing, Meslow plans to ask a judge to decide whether the attorney-client privilege applies to former Roseville City Attorney Joel Jamnik, a potential witness in Kysylyczyn's criminal trial. At issue is how Jamnik advised the mayor to vote on the payment of his own legal bills, incurred from an earlier investigation.

"The answer to that question dramatically changes the preparation for both sides in the case," Meslow said. "I think Jamnik's statement will likely decide the case."

The attorney-client privilege protects the confidentiality of discussions between a client and his or her attorney. Jamnik and Kysylyczyn declined to answer investigators' questions about their discussions, according to the criminal complaint.

Also at that second hearing, Richard Kyle, Kysylyczyn's attorney, said he plans to ask the judge to dismiss the case.

While Meslow said that he has asked Kyle to agree to Dec. 18 or Jan. 3 for the next court date, Kyle said they will have to figure it out Wednesday.

In September, Meslow charged Kysylyczyn, 30, with criminal conflict of interest and misconduct by a public officer for voting in June to pay his own legal bills.

Each gross misdemeanor charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

Meslow plans to continue as the lead prosecutor in the matter, but said his law partner, Robb Olson, will take the reins when the legislative session conflicts with court hearings.

Meslow, a Republican, will step into the House 53B seat being vacated by the retiring Harry Mares.

"Just because I'm so deep into it, I'll make an extra effort to try and take the primary role," Meslow said Monday.

Meslow inherited the investigation from the law firm that acts as Roseville's city prosecutor after that firm said it would have a conflict of interest in the matter.

The investigation was based on a citizen's complaint.

Meslow's election to the House requires him to resign from the White Bear school board. The board will then appoint someone to complete the last year of Meslow's term.

Marisa Agha, who covers north suburban Ramsey County, can be reached at magha@ or (651) 228-2109.

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