County Attorney


The Office of County Attorney is an elective office created by the State Legislature pursuant to Article 12 5.3 of the Constitution of the State of Minnesota.

The Goodhue County Attorney's Office includes Stephen F.O'Keefe, County Attorney, eight Assistant County Attorneys, and seven support staff.


The duties of the County Attorney are statutory as established by the legislature. Such duties include:

  • Representing the county in cases in which the county is a party
  • Advising the County Board of Commissioners and county officers
  • Prosecuting criminal matters on behalf of the State of Minnesota in Goodhue County
  • Assisting the Grand Jury
  • Processing juvenile delinquency petitions
  • Processing petitions alleging mental illness, developmental disabilities, chemical dependency
  • Assisting the Health and Human Services Department with child support enforcement and paternity cases
  • Representing the Health and Human Services Department in child protection and neglect matters
  • Acting attorney for certain state agencies in local matters

County Attorney History

Stephen F. O'Keefe
2019 to Present
Stephen N. Betcher 1997 to 2019
Gary Fridell 1979 to 1997
Richard W. Johnson 1971 to 1978
Francis Watson 1956 to 1970
Milton I. Holst 1935 to 1955
Theodore Ofstedahl 1924 to 1935
Arthur E. Arntson 1919 to 1923
Thomas Mohn 1913 to 1918
William M. Erieson 1907 to 1913
Albert Johnson 1897 to 1907
John C. McClure 1895 to 1897
Samuel J. Nelson 1891 to 1895
Frank M. Wilson 1883 to 1891
C.N. Akers 1881 to 1883
John C. McClure 1869 to 1881
James H. Parker 1865 to 1869
Warren Bristol 1863 to 1864
J.F. Pingrey 1861
James H. Parker Part of 1860
Clinton Gurnee 1859 to 1860
P.F. Perkins 1858
Charles Gardner 1857
Philander Sandford 1855 to 1857
Charles Gardner 1854