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Former Murray County Administrator convicted in DWI case

Tom Burke was let go from his position as Murray County Administrator shortly after his arrest.

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Burke
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WINDOM — Former Murray County Administrator Tom Burke was convicted in Cottonwood County’s Fifth District Court last month of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a gross misdemeanor offense, according to court documents.

Burke, 60, was sentenced to 360 days in the Cottonwood County Jail, but was granted a stay of execution to serve two years of probation after entering a guilty plea.

Hired as Murray County’s first administrator in 2019, Burke was terminated from the position on Feb. 22, following a series of closed sessions by the Murray County Board of Commissioners. At the time, the county would only say that the closed sessions regarded preliminary consideration of allegations against an employee. The criminal charges against Burke stemmed from a Feb. 9 incident that resulted in his arrest in Cottonwood County.

According to the complaint, law enforcement responded to a call of a stalled vehicle blocking the roadway. The car was located without anyone nearby, and the keys were still in the ignition. The registration led officers to Burke’s residence in Fulda. Officers spoke with Burke, who was unable to identify how he’d gotten home and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. He reported he had driven his vehicle at some point that evening but was unaware of where it was.

After speaking with Burke, a Preliminary Breath Test was offered to confirm alcohol impairment. The result was a .19 BAC.

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Burke was transported to the Cottonwood County jail, where he was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more as measured within two hours of operating a vehicle. The second charge was dismissed as per the plea agreement.

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Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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