Brainerd City Council member Gary Scheeler said he was harassed and threatened by a critic on Thursday.
Law enforcement officials are investigating.
Scheeler called 911 at 4:14 p.m. Thursday. He reported he received a threatening phone call regarding a city council issue. Scheeler told the law enforcement dispatcher the caller threatened to kill him. Police declined to identify the man. Scheeler said it was Jeff Czeczok. Czeczok declined to comment.
No arrests or charges were made Thursday. Citing potential conflict of interest, Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc asked the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department to investigate. Reports would be forwarded to the Crow Wing County Attorney's Office for review, said Crow Wing County Sheriff Eric Klang.
On Friday, Scheeler was granted a harassment restraining order against Czeczok, a member of the Brainerd Transportation Committee who in the past has been critical of the city council and Scheeler, including a July 17 outburst at the council meeting regarding a parking ticket issue.
Based on information made in a petition by Scheeler, Crow Wing County District Court Judge Richard Zimmerman granted the restraining order based on the following allegations -- that Czeczok made harassing phone calls to Scheeler, that Czeczok made threats to Scheeler, that Czeczok frightened Scheeler with threatening behavior and that Czeczok called Scheeler abusive names.
Today Czeczok said he was unaware of a restraining order.
"I haven't heard a word about it," he said. "I haven't heard anything about a restraining order."
The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department usually notifies the respondent in person, in this case Czeczok, between 48 and 72 hours of the order. As of late this morning, the sheriff's department had not served the order on Czeczok.
When asked if he called Scheeler on Thursday, Czeczok said he could not comment further on the issue, but may have something to say at a later date.
Today Scheeler said he received two phone calls from Czeczok, who identified himself, on Thursday after 4 p.m. Scheeler said the calls were directed to his business and during the call he hit the speaker phone option. Several witnesses in the office heard the call, Scheeler said.
Scheeler said he previously received calls from Czeczok but he called 911 and filed the petition this time because "Thursday's calls were very serious in nature."
Scheeler said he could not comment on specifics regarding the threats until the court hearing.
In Scheeler's petition for a harassment restraining order, he stated Czeczok "swore at me, threaten(ed) me with physical violence in graphic detail." Scheeler wrote the "behavior is escalating, which now includes death threats." Scheeler stated the death threats also included description of violence in graphic detail.
Scheeler requested a court hearing. He dated the petition on Friday and Zimmerman signed an order granting the harassment restraining order Friday without a court hearing.
Zimmerman ordered that Czeczok shall stay away from Scheeler's residence, as well as his places of employment at Country Power Equipment and Brainerd City Hall.
The restraining order remains in effect until Sept. 5, 2005.
(Senior Reporter Renee Richardson contributed to this story.)
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