Officials call on Mary Moriarty to resign in wake of use-of-force controversy

"This is the justice system at its absolute worst," said Joe Teirab, a congressional candidate and former federal prosecutor.

Led by House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, a group of Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives held a press conference Monday denouncing Moriarty. (Minnesota House Republicans/Facebook)

Elected officials across Minnesota have called on Mary Moriarty to resign as Hennepin County Attorney in the wake of an unfolding controversy surrounding a use-of-force expert who was selected by her office.

According to a new court document, Moriarty selected and met with a use-of-force expert regarding her case against State Trooper Ryan Londregan, who is currently facing charges for a July 2023 incident in which the law enforcement officer shot and killed Ricky Cobb.

Cobb, a convicted felon, attempted to flee law enforcement in a vehicle while a state trooper was half-inside, half-outside the vehicle. In response, Londregan shot Cobb as his fellow state trooper was dragged for a short distance by Cobb’s vehicle.

The new court document filed by Londregan’s attorneys says Jeffrey Noble, the use-of-force expert selected by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO), told Moriarty that “a reasonable officer in Trooper Londregan’s position would have perceived that Trooper [Brett] Seide was in danger of death or great bodily harm, specifically from being dragged by the vehicle as it continued to accelerate.”

Additionally, Noble reportedly “dismantled” various theories regarding Trooper Londregan’s fault in the case. In short, the defense attorneys summed up the situation by saying, “Noble, the HCAO’s handpicked expert, told the HCAO that Trooper Londregan committed no crime.”

The same court document also alleges that “certain HCAO representatives attempted to persuade Noble to change his opinion to support a decision to prosecute.”

On Jan. 24, Moriarty charged Trooper Londregan with three felonies, including second-degree unintentional murder. At a press conference announcing the charges, Moriarty said, “We were able to determine that charges were appropriate in this charge without the use of an expert.” This is despite the fact that she previously described an outside use-of-force expert’s “independent review” as “critical” to her case.

In response to new reporting regarding the use-of-force expert, Moriarty has received intense public scrutiny and criticism. On Monday, public officials across Minnesota began calling for the Hennepin County Attorney to resign.

Led by House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, a group of Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives held a press conference Monday denouncing Moriarty.

“Ignoring and even attempting to persuade a use-of-force expert hired by her office to change his expert opinion to fit her predetermined narrative is a disturbing abuse of power and calls her integrity and the integrity of her office into question,” said members of the House Republican Caucus in a statement. “Mary Moriarty cannot be trusted to fairly carry out her duties as Hennepin County Attorney, and must resign.”

In addition to calling for Moriarty’s resignation, the GOP lawmakers called for an investigation of this incident.

Rep. Paul Novotny, R-Elk River, said the Republicans were calling on the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office to “start, and initiate, an investigation,” expressing concern about what he called Moriarty’s apparent “willful withholding of evidence.”

When asked why members of the Republican Caucus were weighing in on a county prosecution, Rep. Demuth said, “We just really feel that it is important to call for the Hennepin County Attorney to resign immediately and let this be taken care of by somebody that actually will give it a fair chance.”

Joining the legislators in calling for Moriarty’s resignation are four Republican members of Congress from Minnesota, Reps. Michelle Fischbach, Pete Stauber, Tom Emmer, and Brad Finstad.

In a statement released on Monday, Congresswoman Fischbach said, “I join all those across the state in calling for Mary Moriarty’s immediate resignation. An expert confirmed Trooper Londregan acted lawfully to save his partner’s life but she ignored the findings and played politics with his life and livelihood.”

Echoing these calls, Congressman Stauber put out a statement on Tuesday saying, “Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty should resign for this egregious abuse of power.”

Joe Teirab, a former state prosecutor, former federal prosecutor, and current candidate for Congress, also attacked the actions of the Hennepin County Attorney.

Teirab accused Moriarty of “hiding” the use-of-force expert’s opinion and described the prosecution of Trooper Londregan as “blatantly political.”

Drawing on his experience as a prosecutor, Teirab elaborated by saying, “As a former state and federal prosecutor, this brazen attempt to cover up the truth makes me sick. This is the justice system at its absolute worst. What Mary Moriarty has proven beyond a reasonable doubt is that she cannot be trusted to pursue justice. She should resign in disgrace.”

Running for Congress in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District, Teirab called on incumbent Congresswoman Angie Craig, D-Minn., to also demand Moriarty’s resignation.

Moriarty’s office did not respond to a request for comment.


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.