Captain’s on Long Lake enters into receivership

Captain’s on Long Lake has entered into a receivership with ST Lakemoor, with former owner Herb Knutson leasing and running the business.

During the Isanti County Board meeting Sept. 19, commissioners approved transferring of the liquor license from Johnson’s Tavern Inc. to Captain’s on Long Lake.

A receivership is a court order whereby all the property subject to dispute in a legal action is placed under the dominion and control of an independent party known as a receiver. The receiver takes custody of the property and business of a party to a lawsuit pending a final decision on disbursement or an agreement that a receiver control the financial receipts of a person who is deeply in debt (insolvent) for the benefit of creditors.

As of Sept. 18, the property and businesses of Captain’s on Long Lake—including the campground, restaurant and bar—went into receivership under a court order issued by Judge Hunter Anderson with ST Lakemoor, Inc. as the receiver, County Attorney Jeff Edblad explained.

ST Lakemoor had a superior interest in the property to  Eric and Tammy Johnson, Edblad said. Under the order, ST Lakemoor took control of the business conducted on the property and can continue the business and collect revenue.

ST Lakemoor entered into a lease with Herb Knutson to run the business for them. The license was under the Johnson name, but the Johnsons cannot run the business under the court order since ST Lakemoor was given that authority.

In order to run the business, Edblad said, the liquor license had to be transferred out of the name of the person who can’t run the business—Johnson—to someone who can—ST Lakemoor or their agent.

ST Lakemoor then contracted with Knutson to run the business for them so the license was re-issued in his name as the lessee.

Deputy Auditor Kassandra Engberg said the liquor license transfer is contingent upon Knutson obtaining proof of liquor liability, which she said he is in the process of getting.

Eric Johnson was present with his attorney Jim Hess, who said he did not have any notice of the motion granted by Judge Anderson. Hess said the receivership is not warranted and requested more time.

“We’ve got somebody here who is not a part of the receivership, who has told the court that he owns the property, doesn’t own the property and has executed a voluntary foreclosure agreement. You’ve got a terrible mess,” he said. “Give us time to straighten this out. Give us time to present both sides of the argument to Judge Anderson.”

Edblad said following the court order would be permissible.

“Should you choose to follow the agenda item and transfer the license, I believe it’s legally appropriate based upon Judge Anderson’s order and the lease,” Edblad said before the board approved the transfer.

Chief Deputy County Attorney Tom Wedes resigns

Chief Deputy County Attorney Tom Wedes will resign effective Oct. 12 to take a position in Washington County.

Commissioners accepted his letter of resignation presented by County Attorney Jeff Edblad at the Sept. 19 meeting.

“It’s a situation we’ve discussed several times in the past where we have senior-level attorneys that are leaving senior-level positions in Isanti County to take line prosecution positions in neighboring jurisdictions for significant raises,” Edblad said. “It’s something that’s been a concern of mine as to the salary structure of my assistants, how it isn’t competitive with the marketplace. Not only have the laterals been moving lateral positions for significant increases, but we actually have had the last three chief deputies have all left for line prosecutor positions with raises anywhere from $7,000 to $12,000.”

In other action, the board:

• Approved the hiring of Assistant County Attorney Robert Bieniek, of Hugo, Minn., effective Sept. 25. He has served as a public defender in Isanti County for the last four years.

• Approved the 2013 East Central Regional Library budget, which is set at $2.9 million, the same as 2012.