Former Hennepin County sheriff prevails in lawsuit against ex-FBI agent

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek
Then-Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek speaks at a press conference in November 2014. A jury in Texas has found for Stanek in a lawsuit he filed against a former FBI agent.
Brandt Williams | MPR News 2014

A Texas jury has sided with former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek in a lawsuit against a former FBI agent who leads anti-Muslim workshops around the country.

In 2017, former FBI agent John Guandolo and Stanek were at a National Sheriff's Association meeting in Reno, Nev., when Stanek said Guandolo punched and shoved him.

Guandalo's consulting company, Understanding the Threat, has offered what it calls anti-terrorism training but also asserted in blog posts that the Twin Cities are under the control of what he calls jihadist elements, including Stanek.

No criminal charges were filed in the scuffle, but Stanek filed a personal injury suit. His attorney Peter Kraus said the jury found for Stanek after an eight-day trial that ended last week and awarded Stanek $600,000 in damages.

Stanek said in a statement it was important to stand up to intolerance. Guandolo did not respond to an initial inquiry about whether he planned an appeal.

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