A Hamline University School of Law professor has filed a civil lawsuit against law school dean Donald Lewis and the head of the St. Paul. Minn., police union, claiming the two colluded to have her removed from the faculty. Robin Magee's suit, filed on April 15 in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, claims that the defendants pushed for her termination because of her public criticism of the police department's handling of several cases and her charges of police misconduct. ... The suit claims Lewis agreed to work with Titus to terminate Magee because he wanted to please the police department. Magee's attorney, Jill Clark, declined on Friday to specify how the two men allegedly worked together.
Magee remains on the law school faculty, but has not taught there since 2009, when she was suspended after being charged with failing to pay state taxes. Magee is a former tax attorney, but told a judge during her sentencing this month on four misdemeanor counts that she did nothing wrong and would appeal the conviction. ... Magee's civil suit claims that the tax charges were in retaliation against her because of her criticism of police, and that Lewis began pushing to fire her following the jury verdict.
A law professor, recently sentenced for failing to file state tax returns, had another run-in with the law Wednesday. St. Paul police cited Robin Magee for unsafe change of course while driving, a petty misdemeanor. A passenger in the car who is an assistant Ramsey County public defender, Edith Brown, was tagged for obstructing legal process, a misdemeanor.
Magee, a Hamline University School of Law professor, filed a federal lawsuit April 15 that names the head of the St. Paul police officers union. Magee's attorney, Jill Clark, said Thursday: "We are certainly investigating whether or not this was a retaliatory stop or whether these are retaliatory charges."
St. Paul police spokesman Andy Skoogman responded: "It's unfortunate that Ms. Magee's attorney would make such an allegation when it's clear from the police reports that Ms. Magee was driving recklessly, one of her passengers was in violation of the seat belt law and her other passenger was uncooperative and verbally combative with our officers." ...
Clark said, "It appears the St. Paul police involved in this incident drew conclusions too quickly and took actions too quickly without being thoughtful about them and considering things like the law." ...
Magee was sentenced to two years' probation and 80 hours of community service April 15 for four gross misdemeanor counts of failure to file a tax return. A former tax attorney in private practice, she filed a notice of appeal Wednesday.
Magee's suit against Hamline University, the law school's dean and St. Paul Police Federation president Dave Titus claims they "worked in concert ... to get Magee terminated from her position at Hamline, in order to retaliate against her for her exercise of First Amendment rights, or in prior restraint of speech."
Magee is still a tenured Hamline faculty member, but she has not taught in a classroom at the school of law since fall 2009, according to a spokeswoman at the St. Paul university.