Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Penalty for assaulting utility workers

Published (3/25/2011)
By Mike Cook
Share on: 

Mail Carrier Pam Donato testifies before the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee March 17 in support of a bill that would create a penalty of gross misdemeanor for the assault of utility or postal service employee. (Photo by Andrew VonBank)A person who assaults a city water meter reader can be charged with a gross misdemeanor, but if a gas company technician or a postal carrier is assaulted in the course of their duties it is only a misdemeanor.

Sponsored by Rep. Joe Mullery (DFL-Mpls), HF1103 would expand the gross misdemeanor crime to include attacks against utility employees and contractors, as well as postal carriers while involved in carrying out their professional duties.

Approved March 17 by the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee, the bill was sent to the House Judiciary Policy and Finance Committee. It has no Senate companion.

“(Current law) doesn’t make sense because utility workers are even more required to get out to the property than some city workers,” Mullery said. “It’s only fair they be protected.”

Carl Crimmins, president of the Minnesota Pipe Trades Association, said the bill is a “backup” for workers who are out by themselves doing their job at all hours of the day. “They should have a little more comfort when they’re performing their duties.”

“Right now, we don’t have enough consequence for the carriers that are assaulted,” said Pam Donato, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 9 in Minneapolis. “While it is a federal crime to assault a postal employee in the performance of their duty, very rarely will the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecute such a crime unless it involves a very horrific injury.”

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

Keeping the courts adequately funded
Public safety finance law doesn’t gut Human Rights Department
(view full story) Published 8/11/2011

Governor vetoes public safety bill
At about $1.8 billion in spending, no cuts to courts were proposed
(view full story) Published 7/15/2011

DNA - It’s all in the family
Familial DNA could help solve criminal cases, but at what cost?
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

Creating a ‘Safe Harbor’
Wide-ranging support for bill to decriminalize juveniles exploited by prostitution
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Two omnibus bills merged into one
DFL legislators oppose cuts to Department of Human Rights, Civil Legal Services
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Safety versus savings
Home fire sprinklers would be costly, but can save lives
(view full story) Published 3/4/2011

Minnesota Index: State corrections
Figures and statistics on Minnesota's correctional system
(view full story) Published 2/25/2011

How young is too young?
Committee debates age for youth being charged as an adult in certain cases
(view full story) Published 2/18/2011