Reminder to MNEA members about investigations

If you are asked to make a statement to the authorities about an employment-related incident, do not talk to anyone, including the police, a Children's Division (CD, formerly Division of Family Services) investigator, and, in certain cases, administrators, without first contacting your UniServ director. As tempting as it may be to "clear things up," you should always seek legal advice before making any statement. If you cannot reach your UniServ director, contact MNEA headquarters (1-800-392-0236).

  • If you are contacted by a CD investigator, you should immediately contact your UniServ director. If a CD report has been made against you, an attorney will be assigned to accompany you to the meeting with the investigator. If you cannot immediately reach your UniServ director, advise the CD investigator that you wish to consult an attorney before any interview and ask that the interview be rescheduled.
  • If a police investigator contacts you regarding an investigation of a crime for which you may be charged, do not make any statement until you have spoken to an attorney. MNEA will refer you to a criminal attorney and assist you with any possible ramifications the criminal charges will have on your employment. If charges are filed due to an incident arising out of your educational employment and you are ultimately acquitted or the charges are dismissed, the Educators’ Employment Liability policy provided by MNEA will reimburse you for the fees you expended for the defense of the criminal charges.
  • If an administrator contacts you to discuss possible criminal charges, do not make any statement to him or her until you have spoken with your UniServ director. Any statements you make to the school district may be turned over in a police investigation, so you may be incriminating yourself if you make a statement to the school district.

By Jacqueline Shipma, former director of legal services