Minnesota County Attorney Mark Rubin Hires Son as a Prosecutor

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin, the top prosecutor for the county that contains Duluth, just hired his son—Tony Rubin—to be a prosecutor in the criminal division. 

Mark S. Rubin

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin, the top prosecutor for the county that contains Duluth, just hired his son—Tony Rubin—to be a prosecutor in the criminal division. 

All told, 26 people applied. Yet the others weren’t even considered. “After reviewing the applications, I made a decision, I wanted to hire him. It would have been disingenuous to do interviews with anyone else,” said Mark Rubin. 

Many of the candidates were highly experienced. Rubin said his son was qualified because he had spent 4 years at a civil litigation firm, and gained experience as a litigator during this time.

No doubt, Tony will make a fine prosecutor, but problems may emerge down the road for Mark Rubin because of the hire. At the very least, going forward, Tony Rubin’s performance should be heavily scrutinized. 

Mark Rubin has been in office since 2011, and was just sworn in for his third term in office. He has worked at the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office since 1978. His third term will end in January 2023

One continuing issue for counties is the neglect of admittedly-hard-to-prosecute sex assault crimes.

From 2012 to 2016, St. Louis County ranks 23 out of 87 Minnesota counties on the use of prison in sentencing for criminal sexual conduct against victims of all ages, where the county with a ranking of 1 gave the strongest sentences over this time.

And while Minnesota law calls for significant prison sentences for sex crimes, the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission (MSGC) recommends lighter penalties to judges. Based on these lighter guidelines, 72% of cases in St. Louis County recommended prison time, while only 49% of cases were actually given a prison sentence by the county, between the years 2012 and 2016.

When it came to criminal sexual conduct where a minor under 13 was a victim, the MSGC guidelines recommend prison in 86% of the cases between 2012 and 2016, but only 57% of these cases resulted in a prison sentence.

St. Louis County also has a very low prison rate—about 17%—for cases involving child sexual exploitation. Of the remaining who did not go to prison, two-thirds of the offenders received less than 90 days in jail, while over a third of offenders received zero days in jail.