Jeremy Giefer, accused child molester, got Pawlenty pardon to open childcare center

Categories: T-Paw
City Pages
Jeremy Giefer, the sex offender now accused of molesting his daughter, was pardoned by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
Jeremy Giefer served time in jail in 1994 for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. But you wouldn't know it to look at the record of the man now charged with sexually molesting his daughter more than 250 times over the last eight years.

That's because two years ago, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Attorney General Lori Swanson, and then-Chief Justice Eric Magnuson unanimously voted to wipe Giefer's record clean, granting him a pardon extraordinary.

One reason Giefer wanted his record cleared? His wife wanted to open a childcare center in the house where they live--the same house where Giefer allegedly molested his young daughter throughout the six years prior.

That's one of the troubling details contained in Giefer's pardon request:

"I was told May 2007 that I could no longer coach my son's baseball team because I was considered a sex offender. We opened a towing company October 2004 and we were told that if we would like to expand our business and tow for the state Patrol you need to have a clear record. Also my wife has worked in the childcare field for 11 years and she was hoping to open our home to care for children but she is not able to do that since I live in the home."
City Pages
A website advertises the childcare service run by Susan Giefer, wife of the sex criminal pardoned by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
As it turns out, Giefer's wife--the woman he pleaded guilty to statutorily raping in 1994--had already opened a family childcare center next door to their Vernon Center home two months earlier, according to state licensing information.

Susan Giefer has told law enforcement that she was unaware of any sexual activity between her husband and daughter. She declined to comment for this story.

Giefer's application features several other statements of support, including letters from a local judge, a retired criminal investigator, and family friends. Patrick McDermott, the Blue Earth County Attorney at the time, emailed the board to say he had no objection to Giefer's request.

Tim Pawlenty granted a sex criminal's pardon even though his request mentioned wanting to open a childcare center in his home.
Unlike many other states, where the governor alone is responsible for pardon decisions, Minnesota law gives the power to pardon to a board composed of the governor, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and the attorney general. The board meets two times a year, and submits an annual report of its actions to the Legislature. All three officials must agree for a pardon to be granted.

But while the responsibility for the decisions is shared equally by the board members, Governor Pawlenty is likely to feel most of the heat for the Giefer pardon. Pawlenty has gone to great lengths as governor to position himself as a social conservative who's tough on crime and tougher on sex criminals.

That carefully manicured persona is now in jeopardy. If Pawlenty's political opponents want fodder for an attack ad when the campaign gets dirty, they couldn't ask for much better than the story about how he voted to clear the record of a sex offender now charged with habitually raping his own daughter.

And there's a paper trail showing Pawlenty knew the creep wanted to pave the way for a childcare center in his home. Here's a page of Giefer's letter to the Board of Pardons.

Pawlenty's PardonGate


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