Archive for October 15th, 2014

Meeker Sheriff Candidate Jon Thoma

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

October 15, 2014
By Ford Peterson
Dassel, MN

The upcoming Meeker County Sheriff’s election is important. For the first time in decades, the voters of Meeker have the opportunity to elect a Sheriff from two candidates, neither of which have an “Incumbent” moniker.

I make it no secret that I have supported Brian Cruze in this election. I also make it no secret that I have concerns about Jon Thoma becoming our Sheriff for the next four years. The controversy and rumor swirling about Thoma’s departure from Sacred Heart makes this a concern for every citizen in Meeker.

The Sheriff holds a special place of trust in Minnesota state law. The office of Sheriff is empowered with resources and entrusted to enforce our laws and protect our people from those who choose to break it. Our Sheriff must be a steadfast advocate for the rule of law and the protection of due process. This advocacy must start with good judgment and high moral character.

Jon Thoma becoming Sheriff is of great concern to me.

I took the time today to document just one of the many rumors by obtaining the Renville County Sheriff’s report regarding the apparent suicide of a Mr. David Wade Reiten on December 3, 1991 in Sacred Heart, MN. Jon Thoma was the Chief of Police for Sacred Heart, one of the first on the scene, and a frequent visitor to the home of Mr. Reiten’s estranged wife. The circumstances are horrific. The descriptions of the scene are offensively graphic. But many facts become known after an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident. Unfortunately, many questions remain. There is conflicting testimony. Most unfortunate is that the investigator failed to take a formal statement from Mr. Thoma. It is apparent on reading the investigator’s interrogation of the estranged wife that the Chief Deputy and Mr. Thoma had exchanged dialog that never made it to this report. Of particular note is the Chief Deputy’s statements during this same interrogation.

Grave concerns…

The report is 72 pages long. One of the most important elements of this report are in Thoma’s own words the day of the incident, a February 1992 interrogation of the estranged wife, and a friend in January 1992—all of which appear towards the end of the report. Comparing Thoma’s report to the investigator’s report of first-hand testimony collected from those at the scene and interrogated by independent investigators during the following 3-month investigation.


You can find a PDF of the Renville County Sheriff’s report here:



You can find my notes as to how I obtained this copy here: