Washington County District Attorney Pete Orput dies at 66 – Twin Cities
Washington County District Attorney Pete Orput has died at the age of 66.
Orput died Sunday at his home in Stillwater surrounded by his family, according to a press release issued by his office. He did not specify the cause of death.
The first county prosecutor elected in 2010, Orput announced in January that he would not seek another term after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a year and a half earlier.
He told Pioneer Press at the time that serving the people of Washington County “has been the highlight of my career.”
This career included stints as a high school history teacher, prosecutor in the Hennepin County District Attorney’s Office, general counsel for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, and assistant attorney in Mille Lacs, Carver, Washington, and Dakota counties. He also served in Vietnam as a United States Navy.
Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski on Sunday called Orput “a civil servant in the best sense of the word.”
“He was a warrior for justice,” Kozlowski said. “He had a really brilliant compass for good and evil. … He was a very compassionate and caring human. He is truly one of the most honorable men I have ever met in my life.
“You could always see the professor in Pete – in his compassion and willingness to try to explain things,” Kozlowski added.
Several other public officials have praised Orput on social media. On Twitter, former state senator Kelly Fenton, R-Woodbury, called it an honor to work with him.
“He was the people’s greatest champion,” she said. “He leaves a huge void.”
Senator Karin Housley, R-St. Mary’s Point, called Orput “one of the greatest guys on the planet.”
Orput and his wife, Tami, have three children.