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Dakota County Chief Deputy honored by Minnesota County Attorneys Association

Dakota County Chief Deputy Phillip Prokopowicz was presented with the MCAA Meritorious Service Award at the Minnesota County Attorneys Association annual meeting. This award honors an individual who has demonstrated leadership in her or his office, or has served in key roles in the MCAA governance structure to advance the goals of MCAA.

Chief Deputy Dakota County Attorney Phillip Prokopowicz was recognized for his hard work and dedication to helping the association secure passage of the important drug sentencing reform legislation this year. The legislation was MCAA's number one 2016 legislative priority. Securing support for the proposal by legislators and numerous other key stakeholder organizations was not only complex and incredibly time consuming, but also exhausting and frustrating at times.

Throughout the difficult negotiations and challenging legislative process, Prokopowicz was present to advise all involved of the proposal's impacts throughout the numerous iterations it went through and to draft the final bill language needed to make this proposal a reality. The drafting process was not a simple task and took extensive skill and knowledge of current law. Prokopowicz put in significant time and effort, was always available for consultation, and was critical to the successful outcome the association and prosecutors across the state achieved.

The drug sentencing reform legislation is one of the most important legislative accomplishments the MCAA has been able to push through and secure the passage of in recent decades, said Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom.

"This successful outcome could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of Phil Prokopowicz," Backstrom said.

"Prokopowicz is highly respected among prosecutors," said Assistant Ramsey County Attorney and colleague Richard Dusterhoft. "I've known Phil for a number of years and worked closely with him in a trial. His extensive trial preparation and passion for his case and cause provided calm and confidence to witnesses and to the victim's family during what was a very stressful and emotional time for all of them."

"Prokopowicz is so deserving of this award," said MCAA Executive Director Robert Small. "His leadership at the Capitol with legislators was paramount to our success."

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