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Thilmony named county attorney

Gretchen Thilmony is the new Becker County attorney. A longtime assistant county attorney, she will replace Mike Fritz.

Gretchen Thilmony was appointed to lead the Becker County Attorney’s Office Tuesday by the Becker County Board.

She will fill out the unexpired term of current Becker County Attorney Mike Fritz, who has been appointed a district judge in Clay County. Tuesday will be his last day with Becker County.

His term expires at the end of this year, which means Thilmony will need to run in the general election Nov. 4, which she is prepared to do.

She has been an assistant Becker County attorney since 1998.

She was born and raised in Detroit Lakes, as were her parents.

“My roots run deep in Becker County and the majority of both my immediate and extended family remain in Becker County,” she said in a letter to commissioners. “I first began working as an intern during law school for the Becker County Attorney’s Office under County Attorney Joe Evans in 1997.  I was formally hired as a part-time Becker County Attorney upon passing the bar in 1998.”

While she was an assistant county attorney, and up until 2001 when the office became full time county government, she also worked for the law firm of Hummel, Sinclair, Evans, Hunt &  Heisler (Mike Fritz later became a partner).

“That experience was invaluable, as I was able to work on county matters under the direction of Jim Sinclair in real estate and other civil litigation, and Linda Hunt, who worked in the area of probate law and assisted Becker County Human Services.  This was in addition to carrying a criminal case load under the direction of Joe Evans and Michael Fritz,” she said.

Thilmony worked with former department heads such as Matt Casey, Keith Brekken, Marlene Martinson, Dan Holm and Rita Thompson, to name a few, and said she gained valuable working knowledge of how Becker County government functions through those relationships.

“Though my primary responsibility for the past number of years have been adult felony criminal prosecution, I remained involved in assisting Michael Fritz with advising various county agencies and other areas of practice required by the county attorney,” she said.

In her 16 years with the Becker County Attorney’s Office, she has earned a reputation for working well with both her colleagues in the county attorney’s office and defense attorneys.

 “I take great pride in the work I have done with crime victims and feel that my work has made a positive difference not only in their lives, but has enhanced Becker County’s public safety,” she said. “I also currently serve as the board president of the Lakes Crisis and Resource Center.”

Thilmony says she has strived to maintain good relations with law enforcement agencies, including the tribal government, and has worked closely with a large number of sheriff’s deputies, state patrol officers, police officers and tribal officers.

“I feel I have earned their respect and am certain those relationships would continue to enhance the public’s confidence in this office even during this time of transition,” she said.

As the new Becker County attorney, she vowed to continue serving county residents “with the utmost professionalism and heartfelt dedication.”